line·​back·​er | \ ˈlīn-ˌba-kər How to pronounce linebacker (audio) \

Definition of linebacker

: a defensive football player who lines up immediately behind the line of scrimmage to make tackles on running plays through the line or defend against short passes

Examples of linebacker in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The team's best defensive player, linebacker Markus Bailey, is out for the season with a non-contact knee injury suffered in Tuesday's practice. Richard Dean, Houston Chronicle, "College football preview: TCU at Purdue," 13 Sep. 2019 As a result, an early draft pick like McMillan, or high-salary player like former linebacker Kiko Alonso, falls out of the team’s good graces. Omar Kelly,, "Kelly: Dolphins’ 2017 second-round pick trying to avoid being lost in shuffle | Commentary," 12 Sep. 2019 Patrick Onwuasor played well in his first game stepping in for C.J. Mosley at middle linebacker, roving all over the field for a team-high five tackles. Childs Walker,, "Scouting report for Sunday’s Ravens-Cardinals game," 12 Sep. 2019 The Ravens lost an ex-Bama linebacker (C.J. Mosley) in free agency in March, so Moses could fill that hole. Kevin Hanson,, "2020 NFL Mock Draft 2.0: Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, Jerry Jeudy in the Top Three," 11 Sep. 2019 The Bears continued to throw against a Packers defense that used only one inside linebacker, Blake Martinez, for the entire game as 5-foot-11, 197-pound safety Raven Greene played a hybrid role. Brad Biggs,, "Column: An easy fix? The Bears’ lopsided play-calling in the opener was out of character for Matt Nagy," 10 Sep. 2019 Other honors went to linebacker Evan Weaver of Cal (Defensive Player), tackle Austin Jackson of USC (Offensive Line) and defensive end Mustafa Johnson of Colorado (Defensive Line). Michelle Gardner, azcentral, "Former Desert Mountain QB Kedon Slovis propels USC past Stanford, into national rankings," 9 Sep. 2019 For perspective, Alexander holds up well in those categories when compared to two notable ex-49ers linebackers, Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman. Eric Branch,, "For 49ers’ Kwon Alexander, a fresh start doesn’t erase pain of tragedy," 7 Sep. 2019 Studwell, a former Minnesota star linebacker, retired from the front office after the draft, so Dillon could end up being one of his last big finds. Chris Tomasson, Twin Cities, "Undrafted rookie Brandon Dillon, the ‘Marian Flash,’ defies odds by making Vikings roster," 7 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'linebacker.' 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 linebacker

1931, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for linebacker

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for linebacker

The first known use of linebacker was in 1931

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English Language Learners Definition of linebacker

American football : a player on the defending team whose usual position is a short distance in back of the line of scrimmage

More from Merriam-Webster on linebacker

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with linebacker Encyclopedia article about linebacker

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to spread over or through

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