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  1. a number of persons forming one of the sides in a game or contest: a football team.
  2. a number of persons associated in some joint action: a team of advisers.
  3. two or more horses, oxen, or other animals harnessed together to draw a vehicle, plow, or the like.
  4. one or more draft animals together with the harness and vehicle drawn.
  5. a family of young animals, especially ducks or pigs.
  6. Obsolete. offspring or progeny; lineage or stock.
verb (used with object)
  1. to join together in a team.
  2. Chiefly Northern U.S. Older Use. to convey or transport by means of a team; haul.
verb (used without object)
  1. to drive a team.
  2. to gather or join in a team, a band, or a cooperative effort (usually followed by up, together, etc.).
  1. of, relating to, or performed by a team: a team sport; team effort.

Origin of team

before 900; Middle English teme (noun), Old English tēam child-bearing, brood, offspring, set of draft beasts; cognate with Dutch toom bridle, reins, German Zaum, Old Norse taumr
Related formsin·ter·team, adjectiveun·der·teamed, adjectiveun·teamed, adjective

Synonyms for team

See more synonyms for on

Usage note Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for team

Contemporary Examples of team

Historical Examples of team

  • The two saddle-horses and a team for carriage use had been shipped ahead.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • The team was purely American—that is to say, almost human in its intelligence and docility.

    American Notes

    Rudyard Kipling

  • Then six miles of macadamized road showed us that the team could move.

    American Notes

    Rudyard Kipling

  • Peaceful stood beside the team, with the lines still in his hand.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • A second and smaller sled was driven by Mit-sah, and to this was harnessed a team of puppies.

    White Fang

    Jack London

British Dictionary definitions for team


noun (sometimes functioning as plural)
  1. a group of people organized to work together
  2. a group of players forming one of the sides in a sporting contest
  3. two or more animals working together to pull a vehicle or agricultural implement
  4. such animals and the vehiclethe coachman riding his team
  5. dialect a flock, herd, or brood
  6. obsolete ancestry
  1. (when intr, often foll by up) to make or cause to make a teamhe teamed George with Robert
  2. (tr) US and Canadian to drag or transport in or by a team
  3. (intr) US and Canadian to drive a team

Word Origin for team

Old English team offspring; related to Old Frisian tām bridle, Old Norse taumr chain yoking animals together, Old High German zoum bridle
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 team

Old English team "set of draft animals yoked together," from Proto-Germanic *taumaz (cf. Old Norse taumr, Old Frisian tam, Dutch toom, Old High German zoum, German Zaum "bridle"), probably literally "that which draws," from *taugmaz "action of drawing," from series *taukh-, *tukh-, *tug-, represented by Old English togian "to pull, drag" (see tow), from PIE *deuk- "pull" (related to Latin ducere "to lead;" see duke (n.)). Applied to people in Old English, especially "group of people acting together to bring suit." Team spirit is recorded from 1928. Team player attested from 1886, originally in baseball.


1550s, "to harness beasts in a team," from team (n.). The meaning "to come together as a team" (usually with up) is attested from 1932. Related: Teamed; teaming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper