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 drive was capped by a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Sony Michel to give the Patriots a 7-0 lead. Jim Chairusmi, WSJ, "Patriots to Face the Rams in the Super Bowl," 21 Jan. 2019 Baldwin had two touchdown catches and had 77 yards receiving — the second most of his season — on four catches. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "Seahawks lose Bradley McDougald, Jordan Simmons to injury vs. 49ers, but Baldwin returns with a vengeance," 16 Dec. 2018 Tyler Hilinski appeared in eight games during his sophomore season, throwing for 1,176 yards and seven touchdowns. CBS News, "Tyler Hilinski, Washington State football player, had brain damage at time of suicide," 26 June 2018 Slinkosky had a 39-yard touchdown catch in the first half and also rushed for a 15-yard score in the second half. Alex Kushel,, "Broward flag football player of the year: Kimberly Slinkosky, Cooper City sophomore," 20 June 2018 On Monday, another undrafted rookie, Deontez Alexander from Division III Franklin College, made an impressive touchdown catch along the sideline. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions OTAs observations: WR Jace Billingsley's day to shine," 11 June 2018 Antonio is known for being the king of touchdown dances in the NFL. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Get All 'The Masked Singer' Spoilers You Could Ever Want," 10 Jan. 2019 At the end of the game, no one can dispute the number of touchdowns, home runs, or points on the scoreboard. Brendan Tapley, Woman's Day, "10 Things Men Wish Women Knew About the Way They Think," 6 Nov. 2018 In the third quarter, when Kendrick Bourne lost his footing on a sideline route, Garoppolo’s pass sailed straight to Vikings rookie Mike Hughes for a 28-yard interception return for a touchdown and a 17-3 lead. Fox News, "Jimmy Garoppolo takes loss, as 49ers fall to Vikings 24-16," 10 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Andrew Brunson’s plane touched down at Joint Base Andrews outside of Washington, D.C. around noon following a stop in Germany for what President Trump said was a medical evaluation. Vivian Salama, WSJ, "Pastor Arrives Back in U.S. After Two Years Detained in Turkey," 13 Oct. 2018 The prisoners' plane touched down in Anchorage at 1:21 p.m. local time Wednesday and took off within the hour, with an arrival time at Andrews set for the wee hours of Thursday morning. Nicole Gaouette, CNN, "Pompeo's 13 hours in North Korea," 9 May 2018 The plane touched down about an hour after takeoff. The Washington Post,, "Plane carrying dozens of plumbers forced to turn back because of toilet problems," 31 Jan. 2018 The plane touched down about an hour after takeoff. Alex Horton, ajc, "Plane carrying dozens of plumbers forced to turn back because of toilet problems," 31 Jan. 2018 The plane touched down about an hour after takeoff. Alex Horton, Washington Post, "A plane carrying dozens of plumbers was forced to turn back because of toilet problems," 31 Jan. 2018 Having already visited Australia and Fiji, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have now touched down in the Kingdom of Tonga. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle's Royal Tour Wardrobe Malfunction Has Happened to Me a Million Times," 25 Oct. 2018 Considering the dozens of flightseeing planes that take off and touch down every day in Alaska as a whole, the number is relatively low. Katherine Lagrave, Condé Nast Traveler, "Denali Plane Crash: Search Continues for Survivors," 6 Aug. 2018 Huygens was a European lander that rode piggyback with Cassini and eventually touched down on the surface of Titan, Saturn's largest moon, in January 2005. Mike Wall,, "Saturn's Gorgeous Rings and 3 Moons Shine in Stunning Cassini Photo," 11 May 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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Learn More about touchdown

Dictionary Entries near touchdown

touch body


touch down




touched bill

Statistics for touchdown

Last Updated

12 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

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