school·​yard ˈskül-ˌyärd How to pronounce schoolyard (audio)
plural schoolyards
: the area next to or surrounding a school where students typically play games or sports
He organized a marbles tournament that could take place only in the schoolyard during recess.Jerry Spinelli
… there was a schoolboyish quality to the way he did it—as if he were trying to show that he was the biggest, toughest boy in the schoolyard.Elizabeth Drew
often used before another noun
schoolyard games
a schoolyard bully

Examples of schoolyard in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Whereas Gay described the fight between the girls as a schoolyard dust-up, Schwartz painted it as a planned attack. James Queally, Los Angeles Times, 5 Apr. 2024 People arrived early Sunday morning at polling stations across the country, forming orderly queues and waiting their turns to cast their ballots, the tranquil scenes in schoolyards and under trees standing in contrast to the drama of the previous month. Mady Camara, New York Times, 24 Mar. 2024 The Aztecs kicked the Rams around the schoolyard and grabbed their lunch money, going on an 18-1 run to end it. Bryce Miller, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Feb. 2024 The visual was a more advanced version of kickball seen on local schoolyards during recess. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Mar. 2024 That's because she and the next person on our list were not selected for teams on a day 2 schoolyard pick 'em. Dalton Ross,, 29 Feb. 2024 The schoolyard is where skaters come together to make work and to support each other. Ian F. Blair, Los Angeles Times, 14 Dec. 2023 The game will be played in the East-West format instead of the previous version where two team captains selected the rosters schoolyard style. Victoria Hernandez, USA TODAY, 26 Jan. 2024 Her father ran a traveling circus, and she was drawn to the arts from a young age, taking up juggling as a hobby during her schoolyard years. Vanessa Armstrong, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 Oct. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'schoolyard.' 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

1586, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of schoolyard was in 1586

Dictionary Entries Near schoolyard

Cite this Entry

“Schoolyard.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: the playground of a school

More from Merriam-Webster on schoolyard

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