[ bad-min-tn ]
/ ˈbæd mɪn tn /
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a game played on a rectangular court by two players or two pairs of players equipped with light rackets used to volley a shuttlecock over a high net that divides the court in half.
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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

Origin of badminton

First recorded in 1835–45; named after Badminton, the country seat of the duke of Beaufort in Gloucestershire, England
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What is badminton?

Badminton is a sport in which light rackets are used to volley an object—called a shuttlecock, shuttle, birdie, or bird—back and forth over a high net.

Unlike other similar sports, such as tennis, badminton is not played with a ball—the shuttlecock is a kind of feathered cone with a cork head. (A shuttlecock is also used in the related sport of battledore).

Competitive badminton, which is featured as an event in the Olympic Games, is played on an indoor court and can consist of one-on-one play or doubles. The rules of badminton are similar to those of other sports that use nets, like tennis and volleyball: if a player hits the shuttlecock out of bounds or lets it touch the ground on their side of the court, their opponent(s) get a point.

Badminton is also played recreationally, often as a casual yard game with multiplayer teams (less casual if Uncle Tahir is on your team).

Example: You’ll see some lightning-quick reflexes in Olympic-level badminton. 

Where does badminton come from?

The first records of the word badminton in reference to the game come from around the mid-1800s. It is named after an estate in Gloucestershire, England, called Badminton House (in the village of Badminton), which is the seat for the Duke of Beaufort and is supposedly the location where a modern version of the sport was first played.

But the origins of the sport that became badminton are much older, originating in ancient times as a game that became known as battledore and shuttlecock. Badminton was directly adapted from a related game named poona (after the Indian city of Poona) that originated in India. It was played there by British soldiers in the 1860s, including the Duke of Beaufort, who is believed to have brought the sport back to England, where the rules were altered and it began to grow in popularity. Today, the sport is most popular in parts of Europe and Asia.

Badminton was first included in the Olympics as a demonstration sport in 1972. A singles competition was officially adopted as a Summer Olympics event in 1992, and a doubles event was added in 1996.

Did you know … ?

What are some words that often get used in discussing badminton?

How is badminton used in real life?

Competitive badminton is an Olympic event and is most popular in parts of Asia and Europe. In the U.S., badminton is best known as a recreational yard game.

Try using badminton!

True or False?

In badminton, the object that’s volleyed back and forth over the net can be called a shuttlecock or a birdie.

How to use badminton in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for badminton (1 of 2)

/ (ˈbædmɪntən) /

a game played with rackets and a shuttlecock, which is hit back and forth across a high net
Also called: badminton cup a long refreshing drink of claret with soda water and sugar

Word Origin for badminton

C19: named after Badminton House, where the game was first played

British Dictionary definitions for badminton (2 of 2)

/ (ˈbædmɪntən) /

a village in SW England, in South Gloucestershire unitary authority, Gloucestershire: site of Badminton House, seat of the Duke of Beaufort; annual horse trials
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