tail·​back ˈtāl-ˌbak How to pronounce tailback (audio)
: the offensive football back farthest from the line of scrimmage
British : a line of vehicles caused by a traffic slowdown or stoppage

Examples of tailback in a Sentence

stuck in a five-mile tailback on the southbound carriageway
Recent Examples on the Web Wilson produced 73 total yards on 14 touches (including three receptions) against the Jets as the No. 2 tailback behind Raheem Mostert. Eddie Brown, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Nov. 2023 The junior tailback and safety ran for 246 yards and four touchdowns in 29 carries and broke up several passes on defense as the fourth-seeded Bulldogs overcame a 10-point deficit early in the fourth quarter to upset Washington Prep 42-30. Steve Galluzzo, Los Angeles Times, 25 Nov. 2023 Simply put, Lebanon had no answer for the legs of the Raptor senior tailback. Evan Merrill, The Enquirer, 2 Sep. 2023 But the euphoria of a breakout offensive performance from quarterback KJ Jefferson and ace tailback Raheim Sanders did not make it through another weekend. Tom Murphy, arkansasonline.com, 18 Nov. 2023 Burlington’s experienced defense will try to slow the explosive tailback. Nate Weitzer, BostonGlobe.com, 13 Sep. 2023 Aranda said the team isn’t naming a starting tailback, and that Reese and Oklahoma State transfer Dominic Richardson, a junior, can be viewed as a starting tandem. Michael Haag, Dallas News, 31 Aug. 2023 The Lions kept just two tailbacks, David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs (plus fullback Jason Cabinda) and 12 defensive linemen on their initial 53-man roster, set on Tuesday. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, 31 Aug. 2023 Williams was the same tailback who had a first-play 80-yard touchdown run up the gut in a 30-12 Alabama win at Reynolds Razorback Stadium the year before. Tom Murphy, Arkansas Online, 14 Oct. 2023 See More

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

1930, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of tailback was in 1930

Dictionary Entries Near tailback

Cite this Entry

“Tailback.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tailback. Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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