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

Boys’ rugby Belmont 31, Lincoln-Sudbury 14 — Junior Jon Brabo picked up a pair of tries to lead the Marauders (7-1) to their second straight D2 state final. Dan Shulman,, "Fairhaven softball dominates Plymouth South in D2 South semifinal," 12 June 2019 Pro rugby New York at San Diego CBSSN 4 p.m. Soccer Brazil vs. Jamaica (w) FS1 8:30 a.m. Soccer England vs. Scotland (w) Fox 11 a.m. Pro baseball Baltimore at Astros790 AM 1 p.m. Houston Chronicle, "TV-radio listings: June 9," 9 June 2019 In addition to receiving newborn necessities such as hats, socks, and bibs, the couple also got a child’s wetsuit, rugby kit, lifeguard dungarees, and wellies. Vogue, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Are Getting Baby Gifts From Around the World," 16 Apr. 2019 And just a few years ago, Harry took his very first royal tour to New Zealand, though his itinerary, which was filled with football and rugby matches, looks a bit different this time around. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Just Arrived in New Zealand Wearing a Plaid Trench and a Poppy Pin," 27 Oct. 2018 One of the students took off his shirt and the teens started to do a haka — a war dance of New Zealand’s indigenous Maori culture, made famous by the country’s national rugby team. Jeffrey Collins, The Seattle Times, "3 groups, many videos, many interpretations of D.C. encounter," 22 Jan. 2019 My uncle, who played on New Zealand’s national rugby team, the All Blacks, was in the Maori Battalion in World War II. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, "We Should All Just Move to New Zealand," 17 Jan. 2019 William, like Kate, loved sports and was one of the best hockey and rugby players in his year. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton First Saw Prince William In-Person When They Were Nine Years Old," 10 Mar. 2019 Married to ex-rugby star Mike Tindall, Zara just gave birth to their second child, named Lena Elizabeth, who is the queen's seventh great-grandchild. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "Prince Louis' godparents named, including Prince William and Prince Harry's close friend, Nicholas van Cutsem," 9 July 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near rugby



rug brick



Rugby game

Rugby League

Statistics for rugby

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for rugby

The first known use of rugby was in 1864

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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

Spanish Central: Translation of rugby Encyclopedia article about rugby

Comments on rugby

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showing courage and determination

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