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[bas-kit-bawl, bah-skit-] /ˈbæs kɪtˌbɔl, ˈbɑ skɪt-/
a game played by two teams of usually five players each on a rectangular court having a raised basket or goal at each end, points being scored by tossing the ball through the opponent's basket.
the round, inflated ball, approximately 30 inches (76 cm) in circumference, used in this game.
Origin of basketball
An Americanism dating back to 1890-95; basket + ball1
Related forms
probasketball, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for basketball
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • You know she was on the crew and the basketball team and the hockey team at college.


    Jane Abbott
  • "Yes—you had to win the basketball game," he nodded with a judicious appreciation.


    Jane Abbott
  • Many members were not interested in basketball, except to look on.

  • The boys won't dance with me, and the girls shut me out of basketball.

    Torchy Sewell Ford
  • He could teach them basketball and of course he could coach their baseball team.

    Tutors' Lane Wilmarth Lewis
British Dictionary definitions for basketball


a game played by two opposing teams of five men (or six women) each, usually on an indoor court. Points are scored by throwing the ball through an elevated horizontal metal hoop
the inflated ball used in this game
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 basketball

1892, American English, from basket + ball (n.1). The game was invented 1891 by James A. Naismith (1861-1939), physical education instructor in Springfield, Massachusetts, U.S.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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