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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for halfback
Historical Examples
  • I was down stairs in three shakes, and I went through a waiter like a halfback to do it.

    The Lash Olin L. Lyman
  • But no halfback was ever so elusive as this infernal college.

    At Good Old Siwash George Fitch
  • Sara was halfback on the freshman football team, while Jim played quarterback.

    Still Jim Honor Willsie Morrow
  • Down the field a Princeton halfback had caught the ball and was squirming back.

    Stover at Yale Owen Johnson
  • Miller, the great Indian halfback, had scored a touchdown, after a long run.

    Football Days William H. Edwards
  • He suffers like an All-America halfback playing on a scrub team.

    Pieces of Hate Heywood Broun
  • 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
  • The game brought out Jimmie Craig in the new rôle of halfback and assured him a permanent berth behind the line.

  • He was muscular, well-built, and fast on his feet, almost perfectly put together for a halfback.

    The Sheriff's Son William MacLeod Raine
  • 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
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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