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football

[foo t-bawl] /ˈfʊtˌbɔl/
noun
1.
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.
2.
the ball used in this game, an inflated oval with a bladder contained in a casing usually made of leather.
3.
Chiefly British, Rugby (def 3).
4.
Chiefly British, soccer.
5.
something sold at a reduced or special price.
6.
any person or thing treated roughly or tossed about:
They're making a political football of this issue.
7.
(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)
8.
Informal. to offer for sale at a reduced or special price.
Origin of football
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English fut ball. See foot, ball1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for football
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But, to tell you the truth, I like football better than baseball.

    The Rival Pitchers Lester Chadwick
  • In his youth he had overtaxed his strength on the football field.

    Roden's Corner Henry Seton Merriman
  • Chrysanthemums, which are considered a necessary accompaniment of a football game, were everywhere.

    Bright Ideas for Entertaining Mrs. Herbert B. Linscott
  • When I had finished, I was as hot and dirty as if it were half-time at a football match.

    The Stark Munro Letters J. Stark Munro
  • In less than a month football will be taking up most of the time and attention that school athletes can devote to sport.

British Dictionary definitions for football

football

/ˈfʊtˌbɔːl/
noun
1.
  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
2.
the ball used in any of these games or their variants
3.
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
n.

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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