a city in E Warwickshire, in central England.
a boys' preparatory school located there: founded 1567.
Also rugby. Also called rugger, Rugby football. a form of football, played between two teams of 15 members each, that differs from soccer in freedom to carry the ball, block with the hands and arms, and tackle, and is characterized chiefly by continuous action and prohibition against the use of substitute players.

Origin of Rugby

probably earlier than 1835–40 for def 3 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for rugby


Examples from the Web for rugby

Contemporary Examples of rugby

Historical Examples of rugby

  • Courage educated into them at Eton or Rugby, in many a fight and 289 scuffle.

    An Orkney Maid

    Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

  • The great window over the arch is a striking feature of the Rugby gateway.

    Tom Brown at Rugby

    Thomas Hughes

  • No; Rugby football is not much appreciated by the 9th Brigade.

  • You know that he and I were at Rugby together, and then at Oxford?

    Tom Gerrard

    Louis Becke

  • Rugby and Swindon have quadrupled their population in the same time.

British Dictionary definitions for rugby


rugby football


Also called: rugger a form of football played with an oval ball in which the handling and carrying of the ball is permitted
Canadian another name for Canadian football

Word Origin for rugby

C19: named after the public school at Rugby, where it was first played



a town in central England, in E Warwickshire: famous public school, founded in 1567. Pop: 61 988 (2001)
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

Word Origin and History for rugby

type of football, 1864, after Rugby, public school where the game was played, from city of Rugby in Warwickshire, central England. The place name is Rocheberie (1086), probably "fortified place of a man called *Hroca;" with second element from Old English burh (dative byrig), replaced by 13c. with Old Norse -by "village" due to the influence of Danish settlers. Otherwise it might be *Rockbury today. Or first element perhaps is Old English hroc "rook." Rugby Union formed 1871. Slang rugger for "rugby" is from 1893.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper