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quar·​ter·​back ˈkwȯ(r)-tər-ˌbak How to pronounce quarterback (audio)
: an offensive back in football who usually lines up behind the center, calls the signals, and directs the offensive play of the team
: one who directs and leads


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quarterbacked; quarterbacking; quarterbacks

transitive verb

: to direct the offensive play of
quarterback a football team
: to give executive direction to : boss
quarterbacked the original buying syndicateTime

intransitive verb

: to play quarterback

Examples of quarterback in a Sentence

Verb He quarterbacked his high school team. She quarterbacked the company's latest ad campaign.
Recent Examples on the Web
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ two late comebacks in the Chiefs’ 25-22 Super Bowl LVIII victory were only possible thanks to a fourth-quarter stand by KC’s defense. Jesse Newell, Kansas City Star, 19 Feb. 2024 Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes holds the Lombardi Trophy after the Chiefs won Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday, February 11. Ben Morse, CNN, 17 Feb. 2024 Kansas City Chiefs Pair with NFL to Donate $200,000 to New United Way Emergency Fund for Shooting Victims The girls were also visited by Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes and his wife, Brittany, reports Scripps News Kansas City. Charna Flam, Peoplemag, 17 Feb. 2024 On Friday, quarterback Patrick Mahomes and his wife Brittany visited some of the injured children at a hospital, according to photos posted on social media. Annie Gowen, Washington Post, 16 Feb. 2024 Kansas City, Missouri — Among those wounded in the shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl parade was 10-year-old Samuel Arellano, who had attended with his grandfather and worn his jersey of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Charlie De Mar, CBS News, 16 Feb. 2024 Former Patriots quarterback Brady, who was the only DunKing that Lopez approved of in the ad, also addressed his involvement in the promotional spot. Nardine Saad, Los Angeles Times, 14 Feb. 2024 Green transferred to Arkansas in December, and the Broncos brought in former USC quarterback Malachi Nelson. Ron Counts, Idaho Statesman, 14 Feb. 2024 Goff has obviously developed into one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL since his arrival in Detroit, posting back-to-back seasons of at least 29 touchdowns and 4,400 passing yards. Dj Siddiqi, Forbes, 14 Feb. 2024
In a third picture, Swift and Brittany, who is married to quarterback Patrick Mahomes, stand on either side of Lyndsay Bell, who is married to tight end Blake Bell, each placing a hand on her pregnant belly. Hannah Dailey, Billboard, 31 Jan. 2024 Perhaps his best game came in Week 12 against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium, where was a constant menace to quarterback Justin Herbert and delivered the game’s biggest play with a clutch fourth-quarter strip-sack of Herbert that ended a 21-play drive that had spanned nearly nine minutes. Brian Wacker, Baltimore Sun, 18 Jan. 2024 Especially at the quarterback position, where the potential starter against the Rams could be 38-year-old Joe Flacco, who has not appeared in an NFL game since quarterbacking the New York Jets in their final game of the 2022 season. Jim Ingraham, Forbes, 29 Nov. 2023 Montana, who quarterbacked the 49ers to their first four Super Bowl wins in the 1980s, typically attends at least one 49ers game a year, including October’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals and the 2022 season’s defeat against the Kansas City Chiefs. Cam Inman, The Mercury News, 25 Jan. 2024 Elliott: Saints see why Rams’ Puka Nacua, Kyren Williams are showing Hollywood signs Dec. 22, 2023 Who should be rookie of the year, Rams receiver Puka Nacua or Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud? Gary Klein, Los Angeles Times, 22 Dec. 2023 Preview: The South will be quarterbacked by Hudson Herber (Grossmont), Jackson Diehl (La Jolla) and Shawn Pomatto (Otay Ranch), so the ball figues to be in the air. San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Dec. 2023 Kimberly Stroud and Coleridge Bernard Stroud III raised their four children in California Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud’s unique journey to NFL stardom has been greatly influenced by his parents, Kimberly and Coleridge Bernard Stroud III. Skyler Trepel, Peoplemag, 4 Dec. 2023 In one photo, she was pictured chatting to quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ wife, Brittany, whose back was facing the camera. Antonia Debianchi, Peoplemag, 12 Dec. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'quarterback.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1879, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1892, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of quarterback was in 1879

Dictionary Entries Near quarterback

Cite this Entry

“Quarterback.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quarterback. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


: an offensive football back who calls the signals and directs the offensive play of the team
quarterback verb

More from Merriam-Webster on quarterback

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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