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Badminton, game played by 2 or 4 persons using lightweight rackets and a shuttlecock or bird (a feathered ball made of cork or rubber), which is hit back and forth over a 5-foot high net that divides the court at the center. Each player “serves” by hitting the shuttlecock over the net to an opponent, who must return it before it hits the ground. The game, which probably originated in India, was introduced in the United States in the late 19th century.

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