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

Get our daily newsletter In general, international rugby teams are divided by nationality, not ethnicity. C.h., The Economist, "Why New Zealand’s other All Blacks matter," 18 July 2019 Houston Sports Park features six additional fields that are available for the Dynamo Academy and the Dash, along with local colleges and professional rugby teams. Staff,, "Numbers Behind 2019 MLS Ambition Rankings: Western Conference Clubs," 10 June 2019 Here’s to the LGBT first responders, the overtly accepting churches, the rugby teams, the hula hoop spinners and the Sirens, Fleurs, Cherry Bombs and all the marvelous Mardi Gras dance troupes. Doug Maccash,, "New Orleans’ Pride Parade 2019 was a glorious group hug," 9 June 2019 This year’s set came from the Canadian women’s rugby team and included information on players’ wellness, their geographic locations, competitions and force load or impacts. Lilly Nguyen,, "Orange Coast College is first community college to win at ASA DataFest ‘hackathon’," 3 June 2019 Kenneth Gallegos, 17, is charged with first-degree murder and aggravated robbery in connection with the May 8 shooting death of Lloyd Chavez IV, a star rugby player at Cherokee Trail High School. Saja Hindi, The Denver Post, "Teen accused of robbing, killing Cherokee Trail High School rugby player in illegal vape sale to face trial," 17 July 2019 The former rugby player told FOX4 the opportunity to help out just presented itself to him. Fox News, "Good Samaritans, ex-rugby player praised for helping Texas police officer take down suspect," 1 July 2019 Organizers of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo announced in April a shuffling of start times designed to help marathoners, race walkers, triathletes and rugby players avoid the midday heat. Lynne Peeples, NBC News, "Climate change is good for surfing. Other sports, not so much.," 20 June 2019 Capture athletes in motion, snapping shots of snowboarders catching air or rugby players lining up for a scrum. National Geographic, "New Zealand High School Expedition," 17 June 2019

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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Learn More about rugby

Dictionary Entries near rugby



rug brick



Rugby game

Rugby League

Statistics for rugby

Last Updated

12 Aug 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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a haphazard or makeshift solution

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