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

If Hicks returns healthy, the third linebacker will only be on the field for about a third of the snaps. Zach Berman,, "Eagles offseason workout review: What was learned, who stood out, what's unanswered, and what's next," 15 June 2018 The outside linebacker, who suffered a serious left-knee injury in the College Football Playoff semifinal victory over Clemson, was in a black, non-contact jersey. Rainer Sabin,, "Alabama practice report: Top LB seen at different spot," 19 Apr. 2018 Los Angeles Rams outside linebacker Samson Ebukam runs for a touchdown after making an interception. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "Rams-Chiefs Was a Crystal Ball Into the NFL’s Future," 20 Nov. 2018 Thursday night's Hall of Fame game honored great past linebackers from each team -- Ray Lewis from the Ravens and Brian Urlacher from the Bears. Amy Lieu, Fox News, "NFL preseason gets underway -- with no kneeling during anthem," 3 Aug. 2018 Among guests were Miami Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake, who also is represented by Ridley’s agent, Ben Setas, and Falcons outside linebacker Kemal Ishmael, who attended North Miami Beach High and was drafted out of UCF in 2013. David Furones,, "Calvin Ridley holds charity bowling event to raise funds for program that helped him in his youth," 13 July 2018 And so does fellow outside linebackers Matthew Judon and Za’Darius Smith. Mike Preston,, "Preston: Rebuilding the offense is fine, but the Ravens need to find pass rushers, too," 25 June 2018 Your information will be used as described in our Privacy Notice As a budding football player, Texans outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus was still maturing physically and had no background in the sport. Aaron Wilson, Houston Chronicle, "Texans' Whitney Mercilus on early football days: 'I was a toothpick'," 21 June 2018 Ranked as the No. 5 outside linebacker in the nation and No. Brian Gosset, star-telegram, "DFW’s top 50 high school football recruits for the Class of 2019," 7 June 2018

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

19 Mar 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 reflect, repel, echo, or resound

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