line·​back·​er | \ˈlīn-ˌba-kər \

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

DeMarcus Ware and Lindsay Arnold DeMarcus, a former Dallas Cowboys linebacker and Super Bowl champion, will hopefully transfer his impressive football skills to the dance floor. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "'Dancing with the Stars' Just Announced the Cast for Season 27 and We Can't Wait to Watch," 12 Sep. 2018 When Gray was younger, Locastro put his team through a drill where the running back had to put a move on a linebacker stepping up in the hole. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football getting 'thunder and lightning' with running backs," 8 July 2018 The Panthers have picked up the fifth-year option on outside linebacker Shaq Thompson, their first-rounder in ’15. Joseph Person, charlotteobserver, "Next Panthers lineman set to get high-dollar, long-term deal? He's focused on vacation," 14 June 2018 Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan barked at players to be in position and running backs coach Gary Brown got on linebacker Jaylon Smith to tone it down during team drills. Drew Davison, star-telegram, "5 takeaways from the Cowboys' last week of OTAs," 6 June 2018 Tony Megna Megna graduated from Oak Creek High School and joined UW as a walk-on linebacker in 2007. Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "These Badgers walked away from football after concussions," 30 May 2018 For the Broncos, he is being recruited as a STUD end or outside linebacker. Dave Southorn, idahostatesman, "Boise State football adds another four-star 2019 recruit in former Arizona commit | Idaho Statesman," 12 May 2018 The Miami Dolphins didn’t pick up the fifth-year option on linebacker Stephone Anthony's contract. Omar Kelly,, "Dolphins decline fifth-year option on linebacker Stephone Anthony," 3 May 2018 But one thing everyone watching the NFL draft Thursday night could agree on: Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier walking across the stage with his fiancée to the podium in Dallas to announce the team's pick was very encouraging. Dave Clark,, "Ryan Shazier walks across stage, announces Steelers' draft pick," 27 Apr. 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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Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

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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

See words that rhyme with linebacker Encyclopedia article about linebacker

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