touch·​down | \ˈtəch-ˌdau̇n \

Definition of touchdown 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the act of touching a football to the ground behind an opponent's goal specifically : the act of scoring six points in American football by being lawfully in possession of the ball on, above, or behind an opponent's goal line when the ball is declared dead

2 : the act or moment of touching down (as with an airplane or spacecraft)

touch down


Definition of touch down (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to reach the ground : land

transitive verb

: to place (the ball in rugby) by hand on the ground on or over an opponent's goal line in scoring a try or behind one's own goal line as a defensive measure

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Synonyms & Antonyms for touchdown

Synonyms: Verb

alight, land, light, perch, roost, settle

Antonyms: Verb

blast off, take off

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Examples of touchdown in a Sentence


What was the plane's speed at touchdown?


the plane will touch down in about 30 minutes

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The senior running back has rushed for 380 yards and seven touchdowns in three Apple Cups. The Seattle Times, "Pick ’em," 21 Nov. 2018 Of the 45 teams to be favored by at least two touchdowns in the first four weeks of the season, the Vikings are only the eighth team to lose outright. Michael Salfino, WSJ, "The Vikings Were Looking Super. Then They Played the Bills.," 25 Sep. 2018 Watson threw for 1,699 yards and 19 touchdowns in seven games last year. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Texas superintendent apologizes for comment on NFL star Deshaun Watson," 18 Sep. 2018 From $750 per person for a 3-4 day domestic trip, Sierra Gorda, Mexico, a potential touchdown site for people who sign up for Jubel’s Surprise Adventure. Matthew Kronsberg, WSJ, "Why Even Control Freaks Are Opting for ‘Surprise Vacations’," 14 Nov. 2018 National Weather Service meteorologist Ryan Willis said there were two confirmed tornado touchdowns in the state: one in southwest Atlanta and another in Crawford County in central Georgia. Kate Brumback, Fox News, "Georgia girl, 11, dies as Michael hurls debris through roof," 12 Oct. 2018 Clipper will assess the habitability of Europa's ocean and also scout out potential touchdown sites for the lander, which will seek out signs of life that have bubbled up to the surface, or the very near subsurface, from the dark depths. Mike Wall,, "Jupiter Moon Europa's Jagged Ice Towers Could Imperil Robot Landers," 8 Oct. 2018 Communication with the two landers stopped near the moment of touchdown. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Two Japanese robots are now happily hopping on an asteroid [Updated]," 22 Sep. 2018 Barnes, who led the team with 819 yards last year, should share the workload in 2018 with teammates Dalvin Warmack (252 yards, three touchdowns) and Justin Silmon (225 yards). Matt Murschel,, "Steady Kansas State is No. 44 in 2018 preseason college football rankings," 14 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Engineers had to add thrusters to ensure that the lander would touch down gently. Loren Grush, The Verge, "NASA’s InSight lander has just six and a half minutes to land on Mars in one piece," 21 Nov. 2018 Rusnak said survey teams were out Tuesday assessing the damage and working to determine whether additional tornados touched down. Denise Lavoie, The Seattle Times, "Virginia man killed in flash flood from Florence remnants," 18 Sep. 2018 Aaron Voos saw the twister touch down north of the city of Laramie while driving home with his 6-year-old son Wednesday. Fox News, "Onlookers ogle Wyoming tornado that damages handful of homes," 7 June 2018 That will all change, however, as according to Good Morning America's Omid Scobie, Ragland has touched down in London and is ready for the royal meet up., "Meghan Markle's Mom Just Got To London To Meet The Queen," 11 May 2018 Chicagoans near O’Hare International Airport who spotted an extra-large plane touching down there Friday night will start seeing a lot more of the Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger aircraft. Lauren Zumbach,, "Mega-jet A380 to begin daily stops at O'Hare," 2 May 2018 The re-route was a huge divergence from its usual trajectory across the Atlantic and through the Mediterranean, but thanks to excess windspeed harnessed by the jet stream, Flight 800 touched down on Turkish soil on time and unscathed. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "A Turkish Airlines Flight Flew an Extra 800 Miles and Still Landed on Time," 23 Oct. 2018 At least one person was killed in Virginia on Monday after two apparent tornadoes touched down in the state as Florence — which has been downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone — continues to leave its mark along the eastern seaboard. Nicole Darrah, Fox News, "Florence spawns reported tornadoes in Virginia, leaves at least 1 dead," 18 Sep. 2018 She was photographed just after her Finnair flight touched down on foreign soil. Emily Rauhala, Washington Post, "Poet Liu Xia escaped China, but will Beijing ever set her free?," 13 July 2018

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


1856, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1859, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Dictionary Entries near touchdown


touch body



touch down



Statistics for touchdown

Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for touchdown

The first known use of touchdown was in 1856

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More Definitions for touchdown



English Language Learners Definition of touchdown

American football : a score that is made by carrying the ball over the opponent's goal line or by catching the ball while standing in the end zone

rugby : the act of scoring points by putting the ball on the ground behind an opponent's goal line

: the moment when an airplane or spacecraft touches the ground at the end of a flight


touch·​down | \ˈtəch-ˌdau̇n \

Kids Definition of touchdown

: a score made in football by carrying or catching the ball over the opponent's goal line

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More from Merriam-Webster on touchdown

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with touchdown

Spanish Central: Translation of touchdown

Nglish: Translation of touchdown for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about touchdown

Comments on touchdown

What made you want to look up touchdown? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make faulty or ineffective

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