"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[kwawr-ter-bak] /ˈkwɔr tərˌbæk/
a back in football who usually lines up immediately behind the center and directs the offense of the team.
the position played by this back.
a person who leads or directs a group or activity.
verb (used with object)
to direct the offense of (a team).
to lead or direct:
to quarterback a public-relations campaign.
verb (used without object)
to play the position of quarterback.
Origin of quarterback
1875-80, Americanism; quarter + back1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for quarterback
  • It's easy to armchair quarterback when your job is not on the line.
  • Ultimately, that's the best part about being a quarterback.
  • For starters, until a quarterback wins a championship, he is never good enough.
  • He's the only quarterback to reach the playoffs in each of his first four seasons.
  • We make sure that the playbook includes the quarterback, the wide receivers and the offensive line.
  • Thus were born the scrimmage, the snap-back, and the position of quarterback.
  • Rushes the quarterback and try to contain rushers behind the line of scrimmage.
British Dictionary definitions for quarterback


noun (US & Canadian)
a player in American or Canadian football, positioned usually behind the centre, who directs attacking play
Monday-morning quarterbacking, wisdom after the event, esp by spectators
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 quarterback

in U.S. football, 1876, from quarter (n.) + back (n.); so called from his position on the field at the start of play, between the halfback and the center. As a verb from 1945. Figurative sense from 1952. Monday morning quarterback is 1932 (n.), 1972 (v.); originally pro football player slang for sportswriters (U.S. professional football games typically are played on Sundays).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for quarterback



To lead or direct; control; manage: and quarterbacking the rise of Action News at Channel 6 (1945+)

Related Terms

monday morning quarterback

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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