[haf-bak, hahf-]


  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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for halfback

Historical Examples of halfback

  • 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

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