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2017 Word of the Year

backfield

[bak-feeld] /ˈbækˌfild/
noun, Football.
1.
(used with a plural verb) the members of the team who, on offense, are stationed behind the linemen and, on defense, behind the linebackers.
2.
their positions considered as a unit.
3.
the area where the backs play.
Origin of backfield
1910-1915
An Americanism dating back to 1910-15; back1 + field
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for backfield
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Dick had been busily engaged in making up his line and backfield.

  • "Two in the line and two in the backfield is good," jeered Tim.

    Left Guard Gilbert Ralph Henry Barbour
  • You see our backfield was pretty light and the wet field slowed them up.

    Left Half Harmon Ralph Henry Barbour
  • Suddenly Stover, in the backfield, watching like a cat, started forward with a cry.

    Stover at Yale Owen Johnson
  • The backfield coach has the picking of men for their positions.

    Football Days William H. Edwards
  • He was a backfield man and one of West Point's main line backers.

    Football Days William H. Edwards
  • Then—it is a fake-kick; the backfield lines up in the kick formation, but the ball is passed to Butch, at your right.

    T. Haviland Hicks Senior J. Raymond Elderdice
  • Casad, Clark and Phillips made up a backfield that would have been a credit to any of the colleges.

    Football Days William H. Edwards
  • Harvard follows Charlie Daly's backfield play; improved upon somewhat, of course, according to conditions.

    Football Days William H. Edwards
British Dictionary definitions for backfield

backfield

/ˈbækˌfiːld/
noun (American football)
1.
(sometimes functioning as pl) the backfield, the quarterback and running backs in a team
2.
the area behind the line of scrimmage from which the backfield begin each play
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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