rug·​by ˈrəg-bē How to pronounce rugby (audio)
often capitalized
: 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

Examples of rugby in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Andrew Postal, a sophomore from Andover, Mass., brought fellow rugby players to the frozen pond, while Caitlin Kincaid, a senior from Colorado Springs, Colo., enlisted 10 members of the Colby Woodsmen Team, skilled in sawing wood and swinging axes. Jenna Russell Tristan Spinski, New York Times, 6 Apr. 2024 Elsewhere The San Diego Legion are off this weekend; the pro rugby team next plays April 14 against NOLA Gold at Snapdragon Stadium. Ivan Carter, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Apr. 2024 The former Scottish rugby union player turned 39 on Tuesday, April 2. Dave Quinn, Peoplemag, 4 Apr. 2024 This gripping tale unfolds the story of a rugby team's fight for survival against insurmountable odds after their plane crashes into the mountains. Travis Bean, Forbes, 29 Mar. 2024 The Kansas City Chiefs will soon be signing a rugby player, according to a report from NFL insider Jordan Schultz. Jesse Newell, Kansas City Star, 28 Mar. 2024 Many of the seniors won’t have to go far from home to continue their rugby careers. Joseph Dycus, The Mercury News, 5 Mar. 2024 Finally, our Coy Wire meets Louis Rees-Zammit, a 23-year-old rugby rockstar who’s leaving it all behind to chase his dream of playing an entirely different sport…American football. CNN, 21 Mar. 2024 Princess Kate has supported Team England since Queen Elizabeth appointed her to the rugby roles in February 2022, redistributing positions previously held by Prince Harry following his step back from his royal role in 2020. Janine Henni, Peoplemag, 19 Mar. 2024

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

Word History


Rugby School, Rugby, England

First Known Use

1864, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of rugby was in 1864

Dictionary Entries Near rugby

Cite this Entry

“Rugby.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


rug·​by ˈrəg-bē How to pronounce rugby (audio)
often capitalized
: a football game between two teams in which play is continuous and the team that has the ball may run with it, kick it, or pass it sideways or backward but is not allowed to block or make forward passes

named for Rugby School in England where the game was first played

Geographical Definition


geographical name

Rug·​by ˈrəg-bē How to pronounce Rugby (audio)
town on the Avon River in Warwickshire, central England population 71,000

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