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 Tight end DeAndre Goolsby, tailback Mark Thompson and safety Nick Washington likely will have to get into a rookie mini-camp as undrafted free agents. Edgar Thompson, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Former UF DT Taven Bryan looks to extend Gators' first-round streak in NFL draft," 24 Apr. 2018 Two rookies — Patrick Laird and Myles Gaskins — are the primary reserves at tailback. Omar Kelly, sun-sentinel.com, "Dolphins safety Reshad Jones (cracked rib) hopes to play vs. Bills," 13 Nov. 2019 Running back by committee: Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman have formed an effective 1-1A team at tailback. Ryan O’halloran, The Denver Post, "Broncos at the bye: Offensive numbers aren’t good, but young players showing flashes," 8 Nov. 2019 Yet five games into the season, the freshman is arguably the No. 11 Longhorns’ most reliable option at tailback and just produced a rugged and impressive 121-yard performance in a win at West Virginia. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Texas tailback Johnson emerges from ‘emergency’ role," 8 Oct. 2019 Gaskin was out for that game, and Salvon Ahmed, Washington’s current starter at tailback, ran eight times and mustered negative-two yards. The Si Staff, SI.com, "Top Week 2 College Football Bets for Each Power 5 Conference," 6 Sep. 2019 Quarterback Feleipe Franks’ closing flourish last season, a wealth of talent and depth at tailback and receiver and coach Dan Mullen’s deft play-calling are reasons for optimism this season. Edgar Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, "UF offense has talent, potential to be best Gators have fielded in years," 21 Aug. 2019 Brian Herrien could face a similar challenge as the senior leader of Georgia's tailbacks. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, "LSU vs. Georgia SEC championship game (12/7) 2019 live stream; time, TV channel, odds, watch online," 7 Dec. 2019 Maybe one of those tailbacks might get hot and prevent the Dolphins from becoming the worst rushing team in the modern era of football. Omar Kelly, sun-sentinel.com, "Kelly: Dolphins need to be scouring the NFL for salvageable, usable talent | Commentary," 6 Dec. 2019

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

11 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tailback.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tailback. Accessed 19 January 2020.

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More Definitions for tailback


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

More from Merriam-Webster on tailback

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tailback

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to insert between existing elements

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