running back


Definition of running back

: a football back (such as a halfback or fullback) who carries the ball on running plays

Examples of running back in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Also held out of the spring game due to injuries were linebacker Tuf Borland and running back DeMario McCall. Mitch Stacy, The Seattle Times, "Is there really a quarterback competition at Ohio State?," 13 Apr. 2019 Garoppolo’s ousting is the 49ers second loss after top running back Jerick McKinnon, who endured a season-ending knee injury last month. Frank Miles, Fox News, "49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo out for the season with knee injury," 24 Sep. 2018 Meanwhile, Bills reporter Mike Rodak picked Dolphins running back Frank Gore. Dave Hyde,, "Hyde5: Here's five reasons to feel better about the Miami Dolphins in July," 13 July 2018 Josh Allen, Jordan Jones and Mike Edwards passed up the NFL for another year on Kentucky’s defense, and star running back Benny Snell is back to try to carry the Wildcats through to the next tier in the SEC. Jake Lourim, The Courier-Journal, "How Louisville football can (and can't) beat Kentucky again," 13 July 2018 Gurley, meanwhile, tied for third among running backs — after Le'Veon Bell and David Johnson (more on that later) — despite being the league's reigning offense player of the year after leading the NFL in yards from scrimmage and TDs. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "'Madden NFL 19' player ratings: 9 head-turning observations include slight to Eli Manning," 12 July 2018 Police acknowledged a woman was assaulted during a home invasion at a suburban Atlanta house owned by NFL star LeSean McCoy, hours after graphic posts on social media accused the Buffalo Bills running back of bloodying his former girlfriend., "Astros punish Ken Giles by sending him to Triple A," 12 July 2018 Police had received a call about a domestic dispute in the five-bedroom, five-bathroom brown brick home the Buffalo Bills running back shared with his girlfriend, fashion designer Delicia Cordon. Will Hobson,, "Police reports detail three prior calls to LeSean McCoy's residence in Atlanta suburbs," 12 July 2018 Elliott will be joined by fellow running back stars Todd Gurley of the Los Angeles Rams, Melvin Gordon the Los Angeles Chargers and Kareem Hunt of the Kansas City Chiefs as well as Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Clarence E. Hill Jr., star-telegram, "Cowboys star joins Tony Romo as co-owner of fantasy football convention in Fort Worth," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'running back.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of running back

1891, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about running back

Statistics for running back

Last Updated

20 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for running back

The first known use of running back was in 1891

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for running back

running back


English Language Learners Definition of running back

American football : a player who carries the football on running plays

More from Merriam-Webster on running back

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with running back

Comments on running back

What made you want to look up running back? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of returning to life

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!