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[sok-er] /ˈsɒk ər/
a form of football played between two teams of 11 players, in which the ball may be advanced by kicking or by bouncing it off any part of the body but the arms and hands, except in the case of the goalkeepers, who may use their hands to catch, carry, throw, or stop the ball.
Origin of soccer
1890-95; (As)soc(iation football) + -er7 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for soccer
  • The bananas would come flying out of the stands and land on the soccer field.
  • He couldn't go to school or play soccer on the team he had captained.
  • The coach's of pee-wee soccer around here certainly should be hanged.
  • He enjoys programming computers and playing chess and soccer.
  • We walked at dusk a long way in the city to the center, and mixed with the locals watching a soccer game.
  • soccer is a sport where there will always be corruption.
  • He has won soccer and karate awards and enjoys football and swimming.
  • There is already a web page devoted to televised soccer.
  • If you kick a soccer ball up a hill too slowly, it will come back down.
  • Questioned about his exercise regime, your correspondent mumbles something about playing soccer from time to time.
British Dictionary definitions for soccer


  1. a game in which two teams of eleven players try to kick or head a ball into their opponent's goal, only the goalkeeper on either side being allowed to touch the ball with his hands and arms except in the case of throw-ins
  2. (as modifier): a soccer player
Also called Association Football
Word Origin
C19: from (as)soc. + -er
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for soccer

1889, socca, later socker (1891), soccer (1895), originally university slang (with jocular formation -er (3)), from a shortened form of Assoc., abbreviation of association in Football Association (as opposed to Rugby football); cf. rugger. An unusual method of formation, but those who did it perhaps shied away from making a name out of the first three letters of Assoc.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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