tailback

noun
tail·​back | \ ˈtāl-ˌbak How to pronounce tailback (audio) \

Definition of tailback

1 : the offensive football back farthest from the line of scrimmage
2 British : a line of vehicles caused by a traffic slowdown or stoppage

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Examples of tailback in a Sentence

stuck in a five-mile tailback on the southbound carriageway

Recent Examples on the Web

Grigson, whose Colts were arguably just a tailback away from Super Bowl contention, bet that a change of scenery and a backfield shared with Andrew Luck would flip Richardson’s switch. Andy Benoit, SI.com, "True NFL Draft Grades: 2014 Draft, Four Years Later," 8 May 2018 And indeed, the 49ers contained Seattle on zone read runs by the running backs — Seattle had just 22 yards on 11 zone read runs from the tailbacks, runs that typically go between the tackles — according to Pro Football Focus. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "The Final Word: Bob Condotta breaks down what went right in the Seahawks’ thumping of the 49ers," 4 Dec. 2018 Another approach both coaches take is to emphasize the tailback in the passing game. Andy Benoit, SI.com, "Sean McVay vs. Kyle Shanahan: The NFL’s Best New Coaching Rivalry," 18 June 2018 McKissic, though, did play 17 special teams snaps and his ability to play that many means none of the other tailbacks had to play any. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "The Final Word: Bob Condotta breaks down what went right in the Seahawks’ thumping of the 49ers," 4 Dec. 2018 Shanahan made great use of star tailbacks Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman through the air in Atlanta. Andy Benoit, SI.com, "Sean McVay vs. Kyle Shanahan: The NFL’s Best New Coaching Rivalry," 18 June 2018 Then again, when leading tailbacks Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny have just six combined NFL games between them, the ground game isn’t a likely panacea. Matt Calkins, The Seattle Times, "Seahawks should have embraced rebuild and traded Earl Thomas," 18 Sep. 2018 Substandard run blocking by the offensive line last season forced Stanford to lean on its passing game, but key pieces to the aerial attack are gone (as is tailback Bryce Love). Jon Wilner Pac-12 Hotline, The Seattle Times, "Way-too-early Pac-12 football predictions: Can Washington rule the North once again?," 23 Jan. 2019 The future second-round pick totaled 1,550 rushing yards, behind only Love among Pac-12 tailbacks, and 19 rushing touchdowns, behind only Gaskin. Chris Johnson, SI.com, "Revisiting SI's 2017 Ranking of the Top 100 College Football Players: Who Did We Get Wrong?," 15 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tailback.' 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 tailback

1930, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near tailback

taigle

Tai Hu

tail

tailback

tailband

tail barley

tail bay

Statistics for tailback

Last Updated

5 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for tailback

The first known use of tailback was in 1930

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More Definitions for tailback

tailback

noun

English Language Learners Definition of tailback

American football : a player on offense who runs with the ball and blocks
British : a situation in which the flow of traffic is blocked and a long line of vehicles forms

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