zone defense


: a system of defense (as in basketball or football) in which each player guards an assigned area rather than a specified opponent

Examples of zone defense in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And Wilks kept calling the same basic, predictable, easily beatable zone defenses where the Niners rushed four and dropped seven. Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News, 29 Jan. 2024 An adjustment to a puzzling zone defense at the start provided a bit of a cushion. Glenn Graham, Baltimore Sun, 4 Jan. 2024 Creating much of the chaos was the Heat’s zone defense, with the Lakers up to 15 turnovers by halftime. Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel, 4 Jan. 2024 Conley ran a good route — a 15-yard out route to the sideline amid the space vacated by the Packers’ zone defense. Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News, 21 Jan. 2024 Put Martin and Highsmith back into the mix, and the Heat have enough perimeter deterrence to avoid the crutch of constantly turning to zone defense for salvation. Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel, 7 Jan. 2024 Woodson, a strict man-to-man disciple, threw a zone defense at Payne’s Cardinals, who couldn’t adjust accordingly. Zach Osterman, The Indianapolis Star, 5 Jan. 2024 Arkansas struggled against the Bisons' zone defense and missed seven consecutive shots and had three turnovers to help Lipscomb rally. Bob Holt,, 17 Dec. 2023 Denver’s zone defense created yawning openings for Patrick Williams and Nikola Vučević to pull apart. Julia Poe, Chicago Tribune, 8 Mar. 2023 See More

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

1927, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of zone defense was in 1927

Dictionary Entries Near zone defense

Cite this Entry

“Zone defense.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on zone defense

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!