What does rugby mean?

Definitions for rugby
ˈrʌg birug·by

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word rugby.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. rugby, rugby football, ruggernoun

    a form of football played with an oval ball


  1. rugbynoun

    A sport where players can hold or kick an ovoid ball. The ball cannot be handled forwards and points are scored by touching the ball to the ground in the area past their opponent's territory or kicking the ball between goalposts and over a crossbar.

    The scrum is a distinctive element of rugby.

  2. Rugbynoun

    A town in Warwickshire, where the sport of rugby is thought to have originated

  3. Etymology: 1823: Named after Rugby School in Warwickshire where William Webb Ellis ‘with a fine disregard for the rules of football as played in his time, first took the ball in his arms and ran with it, thus originating the distinctive feature of the rugby game’. From the plaque at the school.


  1. rugby

    Rugby is a team sport that originated in England, characterized by running with an oval ball in hand which is often kicked, carried, or passed from hand to hand. Points are scored by grounding the ball behind the opponents' goal line, or by kicking it between goalposts and over a crossbar. It consists of two types - Rugby Union and Rugby League, each with its distinct rules and regulations. It is played by both men and women, with teams typically composed of 15 players (in Rugby Union) or 13 players (in Rugby League).


  1. Rugby

    Rugby is a market town in Warwickshire, England, located on the River Avon. The town has a population of 61,988 making it the second largest town in the county. The enclosing Borough of Rugby has a population of 91,600. Rugby is 13 miles east of Coventry, on the eastern edge of Warwickshire, near the borders with Northamptonshire and Leicestershire. The town is credited with being the birthplace of rugby football.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Rugby

    rug′bi, n. the game of football according to the rules of the Rugby Football Union (1871), the sides numbering 15 each, played on ground 110 by 75 yards.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Rugby

    a town in Warwickshire, at the junction of the Swift and the Avon, 83 m. NW. of London; an important railway centre and seat of a famous public school founded in 1567, of which Dr. Arnold (q. v.), and Archbishops Tait and Temple were famous head-masters, is one of the first public schools in England, and scholars number about 450.

Editors Contribution

  1. rugby

    A type of sport.

    Rugby is a popular sport and played all over the world.

    Submitted by MaryC on April 6, 2020  

Etymology and Origins

  1. Rugby

    A corruption of the Saxon Rothby, “red village,” in allusion to its soil.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'rugby' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3488

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'rugby' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3243

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'rugby' in Nouns Frequency: #1438

How to pronounce rugby?

How to say rugby in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of rugby in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of rugby in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of rugby in a Sentence

  1. Riccardo Sironi:

    Demand from families keeps on growing, because rugby is not just a sport but a life school.

  2. Simon Chadwick:

    You've got a tried and tested product there that cuts across all ages, classes and genders who will subscribe to watch football, so it's a no-risk deal, in rugby it's different because the sport doesn't have the cross-cultural or cross-demographic appeal that football does. I still don't think rugby has broken out of its heartlands.

  3. Ben Foden:

    It's a new challenge, something completely different for me. I'm just really hungry to get out there and see what they've got. I honestly believe that America is the next sleeping giant in Major League Rugby, i definitely think in the next 8-12 years we'll see a powerhouse in the sport.

  4. Hiroki Narumi:

    The rugby population sank like a stone after Japan's 145-17 loss to New Zealand at the 1995 World Cup, high schools were particularly hard hit, with national competition entries dropping below 1,000 schools.

  5. Professor Chadwick:

    We are starting to see the emergence of rugby as a global sport, if you're a rugby player with two 'cauliflower' (damaged) ears and a broken nose, then that is an issue. But rugby is going to be opened up to new audiences and that will create commercial opportunities.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for rugby

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"rugby." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/rugby>.

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