half·​back | \ ˈhaf-ˌbak How to pronounce halfback (audio) , ˈhäf- \

Definition of halfback

1 : one of the backs stationed near either flank in football
2 : a player stationed immediately behind the forward line (as in field hockey, soccer, or rugby)

Examples of halfback in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Just 5-foot-7, 155 pounds, Brennan played as a freshman halfback in 1944 before leaving school for two years to serve in the U.S. Navy. Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11 June 2021 Middleton was a halfback at Auburn and an SEC 100-yard dash champ. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, 14 Apr. 2021 Initially projected as the Raiders’ third-down back, Smitson took over as the team’s main halfback earlier this season when starter Khalil Tiller-Kinard got hurt. Brent Kennedy, baltimoresun.com, 18 Apr. 2021 In order, Moore recovered a fumble, and on the next play, threw a 31-yard TD to Tyler Nolte on a halfback option. Jim Lindgren, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Apr. 2021 Casanega, an All-America halfback at Santa Clara when the now-defunct program was a national power, has spent most of his life juking and stiff-arming Father Time. Eric Branch, San Francisco Chronicle, 13 Mar. 2021 At the time, the University of Oregon included Woodley Lewis, a star African American halfback for the Ducks. Nicole Cormier, Dallas News, 22 Feb. 2021 Hornung won the 1956 Heisman Trophy at Notre Dame as a quarterback, then was a star halfback and placekicker for the Green Bay Packers team that ruled the NFL in the 1960s. Reina Kempt, The Courier-Journal, 13 Nov. 2020 The 12th player picked in the 1955 NFL Draft, Middleton started his pro career as a halfback and played on the most recent Detroit team to win the NFL championship in 1957. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, 16 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'halfback.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of halfback

1882, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for halfback

Time Traveler

The first known use of halfback was in 1882

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Statistics for halfback

Last Updated

25 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Halfback.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/halfback. Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of halfback

American football : a player on offense who lines up next to the fullback and who runs with the ball and blocks
: a defensive player in games like soccer and field hockey who is positioned in front of the fullback


half·​back | \ ˈhaf-ˌbak How to pronounce halfback (audio) , ˈhäf- \

Kids Definition of halfback

1 : a football player who runs with the ball and blocks
2 : a player positioned behind the forward line in some games (as soccer)


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