touch·​back ˈtəch-ˌbak How to pronounce touchback (audio)
: a situation in football in which the ball is down behind the goal line after a kick or intercepted forward pass after which it is put in play by the team defending the goal on its own 20-yard line compare safety

Examples of touchback in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Any kick that bounces from the landing zone to the end zone must be returned or downed by the receiving team for a touchback, with the ball coming out to the 20. Blair Kerkhoff, Kansas City Star, 30 May 2024 No fair catches will be allowed, and touchbacks will be marked at the 30. Mike Preston, Baltimore Sun, 28 Mar. 2024 Dixon also had better numbers in terms of avoiding touchbacks and putting punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line. Parker Gabriel, The Denver Post, 15 May 2024 The old way had become too stale with too many touchbacks. Elliott Teaford, Orange County Register, 8 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for touchback 

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

1884, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of touchback was in 1884

Dictionary Entries Near touchback

Cite this Entry

“Touchback.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


touch·​back ˈtəch-ˌbak How to pronounce touchback (audio)
: the act of downing a football behind the goal line after receiving a kick or intercepting a pass
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!