tie·​break·​er ˈtī-ˌbrā-kər How to pronounce tiebreaker (audio)
plural tiebreakers
: an additional contest or period of play used to select a winner when a competition or part of a competition ends in a tie
… after a 90-minute rain delay in the third set, won a riveting tiebreaker.L. Jon Wertheim

called also tiebreak

: a person whose vote breaks a tie
The vice president served as a tiebreaker in the last senate vote.
: a final vote, point, or score that determines the winner in a contest
She cast the tiebreaker.

Examples of tiebreaker in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The non-playoff portion of the draft order is determined by regular-season record and uses strength of schedule as a tiebreaker (record and strength of schedule are official tiebreakers to determine the draft order). USA TODAY, 22 Feb. 2024 If Los Gatos and Priory win, Los Gatos would win a two-way tiebreaker with SI because of the head-to-head result. Darren Sabedra, The Mercury News, 20 Feb. 2024 They are tied with the Boston Bruins with 74 points but own the tiebreaker of most regulation wins (30 for Florida, compared to 26 for Boston). Jordan McPherson, Miami Herald, 16 Feb. 2024 The Skippers and Pioneers both finished with 151 points, with Minnetonka taking second place on a tiebreaker. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, 14 Feb. 2024 Lamar will have to defeat Arlington (6-22, 2-11) and Grand Prairie will have to beat Martin to trigger tiebreaker rules. Charles Baggarly, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 5 Feb. 2024 Other new additions include an announced theme that applies to all the passwords in the second round of play, as well as the fact that Palmer will now read the clues for tiebreakers herself, using her own performance to try to help players guess the password. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 29 Jan. 2024 Because of the tiebreaker, the Heat is in seventh place ahead of the eighth-place Magic in the Eastern Conference standings. Anthony Chiang, Miami Herald, 7 Feb. 2024 Also, the Buffs hold a tiebreaker edge over Stanford going back to a 71-59 win on Jan. 14. Jeff Metcalfe, The Mercury News, 7 Feb. 2024 See More

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

1904, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Time Traveler
The first known use of tiebreaker was in 1904

Dictionary Entries Near tiebreaker

Cite this Entry

“Tiebreaker.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tiebreaker. Accessed 5 Mar. 2024.

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