Definition of FOOTBALL

any of several games played between two teams on a usually rectangular field having goalposts or goals at each end and whose object is to get the… See the full definition

football


noun


Save Word


foot·​ball


|



ˈfu̇t-ˌbȯl


Definition of

football


1



:

any of several games played between two teams on a usually rectangular field having goalposts or goals at each end and whose object is to get the ball over a goal line, into a goal, or between goalposts by running, passing, or kicking: such as


a


British


:



soccer


b


British


:



rugby


c



:

an American game played between two teams of 11 players each in which the ball is in possession of one side at a time and is advanced by running or passing


d


Australia


e


Canada


:



canadian football


2


a



:

an inflated oval ball used in the game of football


b


British



:

a soccer ball


3



:

something treated roughly especially as the subject of a prolonged dispute

the issue became a political

football

in Congress

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Other Words from

football


footballer


ˈfu̇t-​ˌbȯ-​lər



noun

Did You Know?

The game of US football evolved in the 19th century as a combination of rugby and soccer. The first intercollegiate match was played in 1869 between Princeton University and Rutgers College. In 1873, the first collegiate rules were standardized and the Ivy League was formed. Collegiate football grew into one of the most popular American sports. Professional football began in the 1890s, but did not become a major sport until after World War II. The National Football League (NFL) was formed (from an earlier association) in 1922; in 1966 it subsumed the rival American Football League (created in 1959). The NFL is now divided into an American and a National conference; the conference winners compete for the Super Bowl championship. A Football Hall of Fame is located in Canton, Ohio.

Examples of

football

in a Sentence


He played a lot of

football

in high school and college.


Recent Examples on the Web


In 1995, quarterback Joe Montana retired from professional

football

.





BostonGlobe.com

, “Today in History,” 18 Apr. 2021


Last month, some held a sit-in at LSU’s

football

operations building.




Brett Martel,

ajc

, “LSU reeling from ongoing reviews of sexual misconduct cases,” 17 Apr. 2021


South Bend Tribune SOUTH BEND — Successful college

football

recruiting requires innovation.




Tyler James,

The Indianapolis Star

, “How Notre Dame football keeps pushing to evolve its recruiting efforts,” 17 Apr. 2021


After Friday’s 10-3 win over Cleveland, Joey Votto showed up to his post-game press conference in a

football

jersey.




Bobby Nightengale,

The Enquirer

, “Joey Votto wears Kyle Farmer’s high school football jersey after Cincinnati Reds win,” 17 Apr. 2021


The weekend includes baseball games at Dudy Noble Field at Polk-Dement Stadium, the maroon-white

football

scrimmage at Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field, Old Main Music and Cotton Districts Arts festivals.




Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com,

al

, “Mississippi State’s Maroon-White game live stream (4/17): How to watch online, TV, time,” 17 Apr. 2021


Here are Friday’s

football

scores and today’s schedule.





Los Angeles Times

, “Prep Rally: Friday night’s high school football scores,” 17 Apr. 2021


Ohio State caps off spring

football

in 2021 with its annual spring game.




Tim Bielik,

cleveland

, “Ohio State football spring game FREE LIVE STREAM (4/17/21): How to watch, TV | C.J. Stroud, Jack Miller, Kyle McCord,” 17 Apr. 2021


But his non-stop motor, and high

football

character gives Collins a chance to become a Day 1 starter, one who should be able to anchor a defense once the speed of the game slows down for him.




Omar Kelly,

sun-sentinel.com

, “NFL draft prospects you should want on Dolphins, or your favorite team: Omar Kelly’s 2021 man-crush list,” 17 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘football.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors.

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First Known Use of

football

15th century, in the meaning defined at

sense 1

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Learn More about

football

From the Editors at Merriam-Webster

Dictionary Entries near

football


footback


footbacker


footbag


football


football/golf widow


football scholarship


footband


See More Nearby Entries

Phrases Related to

football


American football


football scholarship


football/golf widow


political football


table football

Statistics for

football

Last Updated

21 Apr 2021


Look-up Popularity

Cite this Entry

“Football.”

Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary

, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/football. Accessed 1 May. 2021.

Style:

MLA


MLA



Chicago



APA



Merriam-Webster

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More Definitions for

football

football



noun

English Language Learners Definition of

football


US



:

an American game that is played between two teams of 11 players each and in which the ball is moved forward by running or passing



:

a similar Canadian game between two teams of 12 players each



:

a ball filled with air that is used in the game of football


See the full definition for

football

in the English Language Learners Dictionary

football


noun


foot·​ball


|



ˈfu̇t-ˌbȯl


Kids Definition of

football


1



:

a game played with an oval ball on a large field by two teams of eleven players that move the ball by kicking, passing, or running with it


2



:

the ball used in football

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More from Merriam-Webster on

football

Nglish:

Translation of

football

for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English:

Translation of

football

for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com:

Encyclopedia article about

football

Comments on

football

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