Pronunciation: (foot'bôl"), [key]
1. a game in which two opposing teams of 11 players each defend goals at opposite ends of a field having goal posts at each end, with points being scored chiefly by carrying the ball across the opponent's goal line and by place-kicking or drop-kicking the ball over the crossbar between the opponent's goal posts. Cf. conversion (def. 13), field goal (def. 1), safety (def. 6), touchdown.
2. the ball used in this game, an inflated oval with a bladder contained in a casing usually made of leather.
3. Chiefly Brit.Rugby (def. 3).
4. Chiefly Brit.soccer.
5. something sold at a reduced or special price.
6. any person or thing treated roughly or tossed about: They're making a political football of this issue.
7. (cap.) U.S. Govt. Slang. a briefcase containing the codes and options the president would use to launch a nuclear attack, carried by a military aide and kept available to the president at all times.
Informal.to offer for sale at a reduced or special price.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.