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35+ Popular Basketball Terms with Meaning in English

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Basketball Terms in English! In this lesson, you will learn a list of words related to basketball with their meaning and examples.

Popular Basketball Terms

Here is the list of words used in basketball games:


  • Meaning: A pass to a teammate that leads directly to a goal


  • Meaning: A board behind the basket, off which the ball may rebound


  • Meaning: A container used to hold or carry things


  • Meaning: To stop the movement of an opponent, or stop an opponent’s pass or shot


  • Meaning: To rebound after hitting a surface

Bounce pass

  • Meaning: A pass that bounces off the floor before it reaches the receiver

Chest pass

  • Meaning: A two-handed pass thrown from chest height


  • Meaning: Violation of dribbling the ball with two hands, or stopping and restarting the dribble


  • Meaning: The annual process by which NBA teams select local or foreign players for their teams


  • Meaning: To bounce the ball repeatedly with one hand while running or walking


  • Meaning: A fast, strong dribble directly to the basket in an effort to score


  • Meaning: To go beyond what is allowed


  • Meaning: A violation resulting from illegal contact with an opposing player

Free throw

  • Meaning: A free shot was taken from the free throw line as the result of a foul

Game clock

  • Meaning: A scoreboard clock that shows the time remaining in each period of a game


  • Meaning: Following an opponent to stop him from driving, shooting or passing easily


  • Meaning: The round metal rim from which a basketball net is suspended

Jump shot

  • Meaning: A shot taken while a player is jumping through the air


  • Meaning: A shot taken close to the basket that is usually banked off the backboard and into the basket


  • Meaning: Most valuable player’s award, given to the best player in a game

No-look pass

  • Meaning: A pass thrown without looking towards the receiver

Overhead pass

  • Meaning: A pass thrown from over the head, to clear a defender or for added power


  • Meaning: A five-minute extra period that is played when the game is tied after four quarters

Personal foul

  • Meaning: A foul that involves illegal physical contact such as blocking, charging, elbowing or holding


  • Meaning: To be holding, or be in control of, the ball


  • Meaning: Officials who call violations and fouls, give penalties, signal field goals, and stop and start play


  • Meaning: Get control of a ball that has come off the rim or backboard after a failed shot attempt

Set shot

  • Meaning: A shot taken with both feet on the floor in a set position

Slam dunk

  • Meaning: A high jump shot in which the ball is thrust down through the hoop


  • Meaning: A player who comes into the game to replace a player on the court

Technical foul

  • Meaning: A foul called against a player or coach for unsportsmanlike conduct such as arguing with a referee

Three-point line

  • Meaning: A semi-circle painted on the court, from outside of which a successful shot earns three points


  • Meaning: Clock stoppage requested by a coach for a short meeting with the players


  • Meaning: The violation of moving with the ball without dribbling correctly


  • Meaning: A player loses the ball to a member of the other team without taking a shot


  • Meaning: An infraction of the rules

Basketball Words in English | Image

basketball terms