What does de-cleated mean in football?

Hit very hard

In football, "de-cleated" is when a player gets walloped. The hit is so hard that the momentum often makes the player's feet briefly leave the ground, causing them to feel like they got hit out of their cleats (de-cleat).

Typically, defensive players are the ones de-cleating offensive players. For example, if a wide receiver (WR) catches a pass running across the middle of the field, a defensive back (DB) can gear up to de-cleat them to complete the tackle and hopefully break up the pass or cause a fumble.

However, offensive players may also de-cleat defensive players. For example, a tight end (TE) may help an offensive lineman block a defensive end rushing the quarterback and de-cleat them.

While most people use de-cleat to describe big hits in football, other full-contact sports may also use it. For example, rugby players may de-cleat each other with their vicious hits.


Dude, did you see that hit on Adams? Baker totally de-cleated him
OMG. I hope he's alright

Kick returner getting de-cleated in football

Tyreek Hill tweet complaining about getting de-cleated in the Pro Bowl
Tyreek Hill tweet complaining about getting de-cleated in the Pro Bowl

Related Slang


Updated February 9, 2023

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