linebacker

noun
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, sun-sentinel.com, "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, baltimoresun.com, "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, SI.com, "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, chicagotribune.com, "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, SFChronicle.com, "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.

See More

First Known Use of linebacker

1931, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about linebacker

Statistics for linebacker

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for linebacker

The first known use of linebacker was in 1931

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for linebacker

linebacker

noun

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

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about linebacker

Comments on linebacker

What made you want to look up linebacker? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to spread over or through

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!