the first of four consecutive plays during which an offensive team must advance the ball at least ten yards to retain possession of it.
a gain of ten or more yards by an offensive team that entitles it to continued possession for a new series of downs.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use first down in a sentence
If defenses blitz the quarterback hoping to force a turnover or safety, it could open up holes for an offense to exploit, leading to more first downs.Getting Pinned Down At The 1-Yard Line Isn’t As Bad As You Think | Josh Hermsmeyer | August 19, 2021 | FiveThirtyEight
“Especially once we got the lead, it was about first downs and grinding it out and not having a mistake,” Rivera said, praising Smith’s second half and a defense that allowed just 25 yards after Burrow exited.Methodical and efficient, Alex Smith wins first start since before his injury | Les Carpenter | November 23, 2020 | Washington Post
We ran the ball effectively, we took what was given us, we got first downs.Methodical and efficient, Alex Smith wins first start since before his injury | Les Carpenter | November 23, 2020 | Washington Post
In Week 2, New York Jets wideout Santonio Holmes bobbled and dropped what would have been a first-down pass.The NFL Replacement Referees’ 6 Worst Blown Calls (VIDEO) | Jake Heller | September 26, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
Tom worked his way feet-first down through the opening, and then disappeared, and after him went Dick.The Dare Boys in Virginia | Stephen Angus Cox
We snatched him up, lugged him aft, and pitched him head-first down the cabin companion.Youth | Joseph Conrad
Bruno replied, gliding head-first down the stem of the fox-glove, for the Story was evidently close to its end.Sylvie and Bruno | Lewis Carroll
He reversed the revolver in his hand and swiftly crashed it butt-first down upon the American's forehead.The Wolf Cub | Patrick Casey
Yale's-ball-in-mid-field-Hornung-takes-ball-around-left-end-making-it- first-down-Tinfoil-drops-back-for-a-try-at-a-field-goal.Of All Things | Robert C. Benchley