"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[foo t-bawl] /ˈfʊtˌbɔl/
a game in which two opposing teams of 11 players each defend goals at opposite ends of a field having goal posts at each end, with points being scored chiefly by carrying the ball across the opponent's goal line and by place-kicking or drop-kicking the ball over the crossbar between the opponent's goal posts.
Compare conversion (def 13), field goal (def 1), safety (def 6), touchdown.
the ball used in this game, an inflated oval with a bladder contained in a casing usually made of leather.
Chiefly British, Rugby (def 3).
Chiefly British, soccer.
something sold at a reduced or special price.
any person or thing treated roughly or tossed about:
They're making a political football of this issue.
(initial capital letter) U.S. Government Slang. a briefcase containing the codes and options the president would use to launch a nuclear attack, carried by a military aide and kept available to the president at all times.
verb (used with object)
Informal. to offer for sale at a reduced or special price.
Origin of football
1350-1400; Middle English fut ball. See foot, ball1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for football
  • Others contended it was too warm for a football game.
  • Many colleges allow football players to take the easy way out.
  • football draws as much attention lately for the knocks that players take as it does for their drives down the field.
  • To reach the pro level, football players must compete aggressively.
  • No matter where team loyalties lie, football fans unite every season for food-filled game days.
  • Audio recordings of this year's pro football playoff games will be available for download.
  • College football is an inherently violent sport, but rarely does that brutality extend to the team's mascots.
  • The cinema continues to toy mournfully with the problem of the national football heroes and their fate when they leave college.
  • College football head coaches definitely deserve to get paid the amount that they do.
  • He was also a football ancient-38 years old-and looked it.
British Dictionary definitions for football


  1. any of various games played with a round or oval ball and usually based on two teams competing to kick, head, carry, or otherwise propel the ball into each other's goal, territory, etc See association football, rugby, Australian Rules, American football, Gaelic football
  2. (as modifier): a football ground, a football supporter
the ball used in any of these games or their variants
a problem, issue, etc, that is continually passed from one group or person to another and treated as a pretext for argument instead of being resolved: he accused the government of using the strike as a political football
Derived Forms
footballer, noun
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 football

open-air game, first recorded c.1400; see foot (n.) + ball (n.1). Forbidden in a Scottish statute of 1424. The first reference to the ball itself is late 15c. Figurative sense of "something idly kicked around" is first recorded 1530s. Ball-kicking games date back to the Roman legions, at least, but the sport seems to have risen to a national obsession in England, c.1630. Rules first regularized at Cambridge, 1848; soccer (q.v.) split off in 1863.

The U.S. style (known to some in England as "stop-start rugby with padding") evolved gradually 19c.; the first true collegiate game is considered to have been played Nov. 6, 1869, between Princeton and Rutgers, at Rutgers, but the rules there were more like soccer. A rematch at Princeton Nov. 13, with the home team's rules, was true U.S. football. The earliest recorded application of the word football to this is from 1881.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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