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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:

basketball terms

Popular Basketball Terms


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


  • Meaning: An infraction of the rules
English Study Online


Thursday 7th of December 2023

what does "come through" mean...

English Study Online

Wednesday 27th of December 2023

"Come through" is an idiomatic expression that means to fulfill a promise, meet expectations, or deliver on something anticipated. It can also convey the idea of succeeding despite challenges or difficulties. For example, "I knew I could count on you to come through with the project on time."

If you'd like to explore more examples and detailed explanations of how "come through" is used in different contexts, we have comprehensive lessons available on our website. Feel free to delve into our resources and let us know if you have any further questions. Happy learning!