quar·​ter·​back | \ ˈkwȯ(r)-tər-ˌbak How to pronounce quarterback (audio) \

Definition of quarterback

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an offensive back in football who usually lines up behind the center, calls the signals, and directs the offensive play of the team
2 : one who directs and leads


quarterbacked; quarterbacking; quarterbacks

Definition of quarterback (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to direct the offensive play of quarterback a football team
2 : 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: Noun Will this season be the last for the fifth-year quarterback? Kevin Reynolds, The Salt Lake Tribune, 4 Aug. 2022 Dylan played quarterback for Chaminade’s freshman team and will be at Calabasas this fall. Eric Sondheimer, Los Angeles Times, 3 Aug. 2022 The Niners also announced what everyone already knew when coach Kyle Shanahan named Trey Lance the team’s starting quarterback. Ben Volin, BostonGlobe.com, 30 July 2022 The Cardinals starting quarterback was ticked off and didn’t mind everyone knowing it. Kent Somers, The Arizona Republic, 29 July 2022 Tagovailoa took over from Ryan Fitzpatrick as Miami’s starting quarterback in the seventh game of his rookie season. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, 27 July 2022 An Akron native, Flossie played quarterback for his father Dan ‘Babe’ Flossie at Garfield. Jonathan X. Simmons, cleveland, 25 July 2022 A year ago, Levis had not even been named Kentucky’s starting quarterback yet. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, 22 July 2022 Davis is the son of a high school football coach and, naturally, played quarterback through college. New York Times, 17 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Makos also got good news with two of last year’s stars, quarterback Cash Turner and all-state athlete Chris Pearson, returned after transferring briefly to Gulf Shores. Ben Thomas | Bthomas@al.com, al, 20 July 2022 Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson was the only Gator among 85 players on the Maxwell Award Watchlist. Terry Gilliam Jr., Orlando Sentinel, 18 July 2022 The video compared Novak to Arch Manning, the No. 1 overall recruit and quarterback in the nation for the Class of 2023 by 247Sports. Shelby Dermer, The Enquirer, 13 July 2022 Other Saints players who’ve guided him include veteran slot receiver Jarvis Landry and quarterback Jameis Winston. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 July 2022 On fourth-and-1 from the Rattlers 16, the Wranglers got stuffed on a run play and quarterback Kaleb Barker lost five yards with 40 seconds left in the half. Richard Obert, The Arizona Republic, 2 July 2022 Mayfield’s now on the market, and Watson’s backup-in-waiting is former Dolphins, Colts and Patriots quarterback Jacoby Brissett. Jason Gay, WSJ, 28 June 2022 Stallions quarterback J’Mar Smith was 17-for-27 with 190 passing yards and had a passing and a rushing touchdown in the win. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, 26 June 2022 The team formally inked the last of the bunch Thursday afternoon, signing offensive lineman Cole Strange, wide receiver Tyquan Thornton, and quarterback Bailey Zappe. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 23 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'quarterback.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of quarterback


1879, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1892, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for quarterback

Time Traveler

The first known use of quarterback was in 1879

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Dictionary Entries Near quarterback

quarter ail


quarterback sneak

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Statistics for quarterback

Last Updated

7 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Quarterback.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quarterback. Accessed 7 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for quarterback


quar·​ter·​back | \ ˈkwȯr-tər-ˌbak How to pronounce quarterback (audio) \

Kids Definition of quarterback

: a football player who leads a team's attempts to score usually by passing the ball to other players

More from Merriam-Webster on quarterback

Nglish: Translation of quarterback for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about quarterback


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