[mass noun] The original form of tennis, played with a solid ball on an enclosed court divided into equal but dissimilar halves, the service side (from which service is always delivered) and the hazard side (on which service is received). A similar game was played in monastery cloisters in the 11th century.
- ‘The Earl's penchant is for real tennis, the sport through which he met his wife.’
- ‘In the early years of the reign of Henry VIII a law was passed in 1512 that banned the ordinary person from a whole range of games such as real tennis, as favoured by Henry VII, cards, dice, bowls and skittles.’
- ‘He needed his own energy, particularly for the scene in which he plays real tennis against Dudley.’
- ‘Let me hasten to add, that's the smaller ball of real tennis, about 5-1/2 centimetres in diameter, not today's familiar lawn tennis ball.’
- ‘He can be passionate about beekeeping or real tennis or skiing or collecting old books; but buildings are merely assets to buy and sell.’