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 The Knights accounted for a school-record 3,448 rushing yards in 2018, led by Greg McCrae, who became the first UCF tailback to rush for 1,000 yards in a season since Storm Johnson in 2013. Matt Murschel, orlandosentinel.com, "UCF assistant coach Anthony Tucker headed to Utah State," 12 Dec. 2020 DeAndre Washington returns to the lineup, and the tailback the Chiefs traded to the Dolphins in October has gained 142 rushing yards and scored one touchdown in 35 carries against Kansas City. Omar Kelly, sun-sentinel.com, "Game time: Fast facts, injury report and key info for Kansas City Chiefs (11-1) at Miami Dolphins (8-4)," 12 Dec. 2020 Senior quarterback Sam Ehlinger identified the full-house blitz and lofted a pass to the tailback before pressure arrived. Nick Moyle, ExpressNews.com, "Could Bijan Robinson be Texas’ next Ricky Williams?," 9 Nov. 2020 Kevin Harris, South Carolina, RB: The Gamecocks tailback went untouched on his way to an 88-yard rushing touchdown right down the middle of the field in the first quarter of South Carolina's 41-7 rout of Vanderbilt. Joseph Salvador, USA TODAY, "Five biggest college football plays from Week 6," 11 Oct. 2020 Saban’s first championship team at Alabama made do with 5,642 yards and the star tailback, Mark Ingram, who won the Heisman in that 2009 season. New York Times, "A Season of Chaos Will End With a Powerhouse Matchup College Football Wanted," 2 Jan. 2021 The 6-foot, 222-pound tailback shifted gears multiple times on the counter design, twisting around one edge defender with a hypnotic spin before capering outside to stiff-arm two Mountaineers into the ground. Nick Moyle, ExpressNews.com, "Alamo Bowl can be showcase for Texas RB Bijan Robinson," 24 Dec. 2020 Sixty-five yards later, Sermon was finally tackled, as another eruption by Ohio State’s tailback had pushed the Buckeyes out of the shadow of their own end zone and into scoring territory. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland, "Ohio State’s Ryan Day was slow to embrace run game Saturday because he’s aggressive all the time: Doug Lesmerises," 19 Dec. 2020 Talented Penn State tailback Journey Brown quits football due to a heart issue. Nick Canepa Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Nobody should believe Lawrence is going back to Clemson," 14 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for tailback

Time Traveler

The first known use of tailback was in 1930

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Statistics for tailback

Last Updated

23 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tailback.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tailback. Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce tailback (audio)

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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