[ bas-kit-bawl, bah-skit- ]
See synonyms for basketball on
  1. 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.

  2. the round, inflated ball approximately 30 inches (76 centimeters) in circumference, used in this game.

Origin of basketball

An Americanism dating back to 1890–95; basket + ball1

Other words from basketball

  • pro·bas·ket·ball, adjective

Words Nearby basketball Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use basketball in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for basketball


/ (ˈbɑːskɪtˌbɔːl) /

  1. 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

  2. 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