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

From coining the catchphrase 'Geezer' to randomly rugby-tackling unaware Chelsea TV presenters to the ground, the centre back was always looking to get the laughs in., "6 of the Biggest Dressing Room Clowns in World Football," 4 Sep. 2019 Gibbs rewrote practice plans and started teaching his team rugby-style tackling. Roman Stubbs, Twin Cities, "This high school football team never tackled in practice last year. Then it won a state title.," 28 Aug. 2019 Rhyan once said the variety of pursuits made him a better football player, with the shotput strengthening his legs, the surfing improving his balance and the rugby helping with tackling and running. Los Angeles Times, "UCLA might play opener with true freshman Sean Rhyan at tackle," 22 Aug. 2019 The players came from various rugby programs including: Okapi Wanderers, Cape Pirates, Boca Raton Buccaneers and the Wellington Wizards. Emmett Hall,, "Florida Jaguares roar to back-to-back regional rugby titles," 1 Aug. 2019 Four of those invitational sports include the duathalon, lacrosse, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby. Anna Beahm |,, "21 things you need to know about the 2021 World Games in Birmingham," 21 July 2019 Perry is a former rugby standout who began taking football seriously last year and was named MVP of his team at El Camino College. Brian Howell, The Denver Post, "CU Buffs football position preview: Search for inside linebackers to complement Nate Landman," 18 July 2019 Spokeswoman Jennifer Hoyt said in a statement that Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort began offering sports wagering Monday morning and will allow gamblers to bet on games ranging from professional football and college basketball to cricket and rugby. USA TODAY, "Women in baseball, Lynyrd Skynyrd, circus fire: News from around our 50 states," 1 July 2019 Corporate sponsors and rugby authorities have tried to distance themselves. Rhiannon Hoyle, WSJ, "Australian Rugby Star’s Anti-Gay Post Exposes Fault Lines Over Religious Freedom," 30 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

9 Sep 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

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recurring in steady succession

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