Meaning of “basketball” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"basketball" in British English

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basketballnoun [ C or U ]

uk /ˈbɑː.skɪt.bɔːl/ us /ˈbæs.kət.bɑːl/

A1 (a ball used in) a game played by two teams of five players who score points by throwing a large ball through an open net hanging from a metal ring


  • Do you play any other sports besides football and basketball?
  • The men's basketball final will be on Sunday.
  • The sports centre has a basketball court and two squash courts.
  • People keep trying to persuade him to take up basketball because he's so tall and athletic.
  • The sports shop stocks basketballs, nets, rings and various other basketball equipment.

Examples from literature

  • Earl Boykins is a professional basketball player in the NBA – and he’s only 1.65 meters tall and weighs 60 kilograms. 
  • It gives balls – basketballs, tennis balls, even golf balls – their bounce. 
  • It tells the story of Conroy’s love for basketball. 
  • Other balls such as basketballs and soccer balls contain a rubber bladder – an airtight pocket – full of compressed air. 
  • Soccer, basketball, tennis, and other sports now attract more spectators. 
  • What are their chances of becoming professional athletes in one of these team sports: baseball, basketball, hockey, or American football? 
  • When we hear the word “sport,” we usually think of football, basketball, the Olympic Games, and things like that. 

(Definition of “basketball” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"basketball" in American English

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basketballnoun [ C/U ]

us /ˈbæs·kɪtˌbɔl/

a game played by two teams of five players who score points by throwing the ball through a net that hangs from a metal ring, or the ball used in this game

(Definition of “basketball” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)