first down definition by Webster's New World
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- the first play of the set of four downs allowed to the offensive team
- a gain which earns the offensive team a new set of four downs
first down definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- The first in the series of four downs in which an offensive team must advance ten yards to retain possession of the ball.
- A gain of ten or more yards entitling the offensive team to a new series of downs.