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[haf-bak, hahf-] /ˈhæfˌbæk, ˈhɑf-/
  1. one of two backs who typically line up on each side of the fullback.
  2. the position played by such a back.
(in soccer, Rugby, field hockey, etc.) a player stationed near the forward line to carry out chiefly offensive duties.
Origin of halfback
First recorded in 1880-85; half + back1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for halfback
Historical Examples
  • But no halfback was ever so elusive as this infernal college.

    At Good Old Siwash George Fitch
  • Down the field a Princeton halfback had caught the ball and was squirming back.

    Stover at Yale Owen Johnson
  • I was down stairs in three shakes, and I went through a waiter like a halfback to do it.

    The Lash Olin L. Lyman
  • He suffers like an All-America halfback playing on a scrub team.

    Pieces of Hate Heywood Broun
  • Miller, the great Indian halfback, had scored a touchdown, after a long run.

    Football Days William H. Edwards
  • The game brought out Jimmie Craig in the new rôle of halfback and assured him a permanent berth behind the line.

  • Sara was halfback on the freshman football team, while Jim played quarterback.

    Still Jim Honor Willsie Morrow
  • Right at him came Birdie Andrews, hat in hand, and when the halfback arrived he bowed and asked him to stop.

    At Good Old Siwash George Fitch
  • Tom had just obliterated a 150-pound halfback, who had lost the ball, the use of his legs and his Varsity aspirations altogether.

    Football Days William H. Edwards
  • In the first story of this series we watch Yank buck the line as a halfback.

    Mary Jane's City Home Clara Ingram Judson
British Dictionary definitions for halfback


(rugby) either the scrum half or the stand-off half
(soccer, old-fashioned) any of three players positioned behind the line of forwards and in front of the fullbacks
any of certain similar players in other team sports
the position of a player who is halfback
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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