run·​back ˈrən-ˌbak How to pronounce runback (audio)
: a run made in football after catching an opponent's kick or intercepting a pass

Examples of runback in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web With Ritt’s runback with 1:03 left in the fourth quarter, coach Chuck Kyle called for a 2-point conversion. Matt Goul, cleveland, 5 Nov. 2022 Two epic plays: James Harrison’s 100-yard interception runback for a touchdown as the clock ran out in the first half and Santonio Holmes’ unbelievable catch of a Ben Roethlisberger pass to win the game in the waning seconds. Al Michaels, Los Angeles Times, 2 Feb. 2022 Auburn hasn’t allowed many big returns on either kickoffs or punts and doesn’t return punts particularly well, but kickoff return man Nehemiah Pritchett saved the Tigers with a 72-yard runback vs. Georgia State. Creg Stephenson |, al, 24 Nov. 2021 Fleurima, a senior, scored his first career return touchdown with a 32-yard runback in the first quarter. Patrick Z. McGavin,, 16 Oct. 2021 The fourth-round draft pick out of Iowa State scored on a 99-yard runback last week at San Francisco to become the first NFL player with multiple kickoff return touchdowns in a season since Cordarrelle Patterson had two for the Vikings in 2016. Mark Heim |, al, 5 Dec. 2021 Thorne threw an interception on an end-of-half Hail Mary attempt that nearly turned into a big play for the Terps until his tackle on the runback. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, 13 Nov. 2021 The speedster had a 2-yard punt return and a 22-yard runback on a kickoff. Eric Branch, San Francisco Chronicle, 7 Nov. 2021 Cannon had a 29-yard runback on his lone return Sunday and, on kickoff coverage, upended Jakeem Grant for his fifth solo special-teams tackle, the most on the team. Eric Branch, San Francisco Chronicle, 2 Nov. 2021 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1905, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of runback was in 1905

Dictionary Entries Near runback

Cite this Entry

“Runback.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


run·​back ˈrən-ˌbak How to pronounce runback (audio)
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