I would like to know a good word to refer to the skill of getting past an opponent with the ball during a match. In Brazil we call it drible, which is close to dribble, but from what I know dribble in english is: to move with the ball. I am looking for a reference word to the ability to beat your opponent; the closest thing i found was trick, but that is too generic.

Another problem is that there are names for the different ways to get past an opponent; what I want would be the simplest way, not some elaborate football trick.

  • I am working on a Game, and there is a button that refers to the action of trying to get past an opponent, that how generic a word im looking for. Dont really know if it helps. Anyway "Edge out" sounds close to what im going for.
    – BernardGra
    Feb 16, 2012 at 12:33
  • Surely for a button like that, the action is not "beat" but "attempt to beat".
    – slim
    Feb 16, 2012 at 12:38
  • That is why i think Edge out would be close to what i am looking for, because to edge out, doesnt mean to beat, at least that is what it sounds like to me. isan't it?
    – BernardGra
    Feb 16, 2012 at 12:46
  • 1
    Edge out is more likely to be used in the context of one team beating another than one player in the team beating another player. A soccer term for the action you describe is "swerve past".
    – Shoe
    Feb 16, 2012 at 14:30
  • 1
    As a British football fan I can tell you for sure it's a common term in British newspaper reports. And here are three extracts from American soccer sites, so it appears to be common there too: "but Young swerved past her and buried the shot", "she swerved past four defenders before cherry-picking Rosana", "he swerved past two more and rounded the keeper". "Swerve past" is also used for the path the ball takes when it bends past the goalkeeper.
    – Shoe
    Feb 16, 2012 at 16:26

3 Answers 3


You can use to dribble like this:

It was short-lived with Sánchez beating Leno from a tight angle after dribbling round the goalkeeper. (GUARDIAN)


The generic term is precisely beat, but I can't resist suggesting nutmeg, meaning "to put the ball between the legs of an opponent, not only getting past him, but making him look a complete idiot into the bargain".

  • I know that nutmeg works, but its too much, i wanted a word for a simple way to beat the opponent. It seems that word doesnt exist.
    – BernardGra
    Feb 16, 2012 at 15:51

It is not clear to me how generic a word you are looking for. I can think of: Tom edged out/ past Jim, bested Jack, went past Mike.

From the comments a few things more became clear. I would say swerve is a good option, since it means changing the direction to beat a player tactically. However, this precludes beating one in pace, which may not apply for the button you are referring to. Since your idea was in any case the change of direction. But, this is not that generic. Depends on your button mostly! Will edit back if I can think of more.

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