noun, often capitalized
rug·​by | \ ˈrəg-bē How to pronounce rugby (audio) \

Definition of rugby

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a football game in which play is continuous without time-outs or substitutions, interference and forward passing are not permitted, and kicking, dribbling, lateral passing, and tackling are featured


geographical name
Rug·​by | \ ˈrəg-bē How to pronounce Rugby (audio) \

Definition of Rugby (Entry 2 of 2)

town on the Avon River in Warwickshire, central England population 71,000

Examples of rugby in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun War Paint For Men, for example, has tapped traditionally masculine brand ambassadors, including professional rugby and football teams in England, as well as James Bond makeup artist Donald Mowat. CNN, 28 May 2021 Because rugby can compete only once a week, the extension might be needed to complete the tournaments by July 3., 24 May 2021 The game originally was scheduled to be played in Evanston but instead will be held as part of The Aer Lingus College Football Classic on Aug. 27, 2022 at Aviva Stadium, which hosts Irish national team rugby and soccer games. Shannon Ryan,, 20 May 2021 Australian football is a blend of soccer, basketball and rugby. Teri Webster, Dallas News, 19 May 2021 The World Cup has only increased by just two teams since the opening edition in 1975 – well short of rival sports soccer, basketball and rugby. Tristan Lavalette, Forbes, 18 May 2021 In other countries, the streaming service has rights for events like N.F.L. games, Premier League soccer and international rugby. New York Times, 8 May 2021 Despite no gym and no full field, View Park has been a leader in making sports available to its students, including rugby and surfing. Eric Sondheimer Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 3 May 2021 In the show’s premiere, Mescal made Gaelic football, a mix between European football/American soccer and rugby, look like the hottest sport in the world thanks to the skimpy nature of his blue-and-gold uniform shorts. Eliza Huber,, 8 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rugby.' 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 rugby


1864, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rugby


Rugby School, Rugby, England

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Statistics for rugby

Last Updated

5 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rugby.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for rugby



English Language Learners Definition of rugby

: a game played by two teams in which each team tries to carry or kick a ball over the other team's goal line

More from Merriam-Webster on rugby Encyclopedia article about rugby


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