zone defense


Definition of 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

Beavers coach Wayne Tinkle said Monday that Washington coach Mike Hopkins - who won Pac-12 Coach of the Year - has mentioned to others that OSU has attacked the Huskies 2-3 zone defense better than any other team this season. Danny Moran,, "Oregon State men's basketball the lower seed but early Pac-12 Tournament favorite over Washington Huskies," 6 Mar. 2018 Using a 2-3 zone defense with double teams in the paint, the Senators’ defense forced Woodward to settle for long, contested jump shots. Shelby Dermer,, "Taft handles Woodward, 60-44, extends winning streak to nine," 26 Jan. 2018 Washington will need to slow down Gonzaga with its 2-3 zone defense that ranks second in the Pac-12 allowing opponents just 66.4 points per game. Percy Allen, The Seattle Times, "UW Huskies vs. No. 1 Gonzaga: Projected starting lineups and game notes," 4 Dec. 2018 Smaller basketballs, lower rims, no zone defense and no three-point scoring for players 11 years old and younger. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "NBA, USA Basketball recommend no three-pointers for players 11-and-under," 20 Mar. 2018 Smothered by Syracuse's zone defense and perhaps strangled by its own lofty expectations and stacked roster of talent, Michigan State once again came up short in the NCAA tournament. Michael Rosenberg,, "Michigan State Had the Draft-Worthy Talent, But its Loss to Syracuse Proved it Lacked Experience," 18 Mar. 2018 The Musketeers were 11 of 17 from distance • Chris Mack's deployment of the zone defense could prove key. Patrick Brennan,, "Florida State again blocking No. 1 Xavier basketball's path to NCAA Tournament Sweet 16," 17 Mar. 2018 Duke found a way to crack Syracuse's zone defense, and now the Blue Devils are back in the Elite Eight for the first time since the 2015 team won it all. Nathan Fenno,, "Texas Tech pulls away from Purdue in the final minutes to reach its first Elite Eight," 24 Mar. 2018 Louisville may incorporate more zone defense, too, but Padgett said that evaluation is ongoing. Jeff Greer, The Courier-Journal, "Lineup adjustments may be in store for Louisville basketball after losses," 7 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'zone defense.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of zone defense

1927, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about zone defense

Dictionary Entries near zone defense



zone axis

zone defense

zone fire


zone line

Statistics for zone defense

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for zone defense

The first known use of zone defense was in 1927

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for zone defense

zone defense


English Language Learners Definition of zone defense

chiefly US, sports : a way of playing defense in football, basketball, etc., by having each player on a team guard a certain area of the field or court

More from Merriam-Webster on zone defense

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with zone defense Encyclopedia article about zone defense

Comments on zone defense

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


a secret plot to overthrow a government

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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