Listen: US UK UK-RP UK-Yorkshire Irish Scottish Jamaican 100% 75% 50% [ˈbɔːl]
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019 ball 1 /bɔl/
USA pronunciation n.
a round body; [ countable ] sphere: a ball of yarn.
a round body for use in games, as baseball or golf. [ countable ]
Games a game played with a ball, esp. baseball or softball. [ uncountable ]
Military a bullet or a solid round object shot from a gun or cannon. [ countable ]
a part of the human body that is rounded: [ countable ] the ball of the thumb. v.
to form into a ball : [ ~ + obj]: balled her fists and glared at him.[ no obj ] : Snow balled on the dog's paws.
ball up, to make into a mess; confuse: [ ~ + up + obj]: really balled up the assignment.[ ~ + obj + up]: balled it up badly. Idioms
on the ball:
[ be + ~] paying attention; alert: really on the ball when you spotted that mistake. [ have + a lot + ~]intelligence and ability: Your daughter has a lot on the ball. play ball, to work together; cooperate: If I refuse to play ball, they'll get someone who will. ball 2 /bɔl/
USA pronunciation n. [ countable ]
a large, formal party featuring social dancing. Idioms
have a ball, Informal. to have a good time. WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019 ball
1 (bôl), USA pronunciation n.
a spherical or approximately spherical body or shape; sphere: He rolled the piece of paper into a ball.
a round or roundish body, of various sizes and materials, either hollow or solid, for use in games, as baseball, football, tennis, or golf.
a game played with a ball, esp. baseball: The boys are out playing ball.
Sport a pitched ball, not swung at by the batter, that does not pass over home plate between the batter's shoulders and knees. [Baseball. ]
a solid, usually spherical projectile for a cannon, rifle, pistol, etc., as distinguished from a shell. projectiles, esp. bullets, collectively.
any part of a thing, esp. of the human body, that is rounded or protuberant: the ball of the thumb.
a round mass of food, as of chopped meat, dough, or candy.
Slang Terms( vulgar). a testis.
Slang Terms balls, Slang ( vulgar).
boldness; courage; brashness. nonsense (often used as an interjection).
bolus (def. 1).
Botany a compact mass of soil covering the roots of an uprooted tree or other plant. [Hort. ]
a planetary or celestial body, esp. the earth. [Literary. ]
Mathematics(in a metric space) the set of points whose distance from the zero element is less than, or less than or equal to, a specified number.
Idioms carry the ball, to assume the responsibility; bear the burden: You can always count on him to carry the ball in an emergency.
Idioms drop the ball, to make a mistake or miss an opportunity at a critical moment.
Idioms keep the ball rolling, to continue or give renewed vigor to an activity already under way: When their interest lagged, he tried to keep the ball rolling.
Idioms on the ball:
alert and efficient or effective: If you don't get on the ball, you'll be fired. indicating intelligence or ability: The tests show your students don't have much on the ball. The new manager has a lot on the ball.
Idioms play ball:
to begin or continue playing a game.
to start or continue any action. to work together; cooperate: union leaders suspected of playing ball with racketeers.
Idioms run with the ball, to assume responsibility or work enthusiastically: If management approves the concept, we'll run with the ball.
Idioms start the ball rolling, to put into operation; begin: The recreation director started the ball rolling by having all the participants introduce themselves. v.t.
to make into a ball (sometimes fol. by up): The children were balling up snow to make a snowman.
to wind into balls: to ball cotton.
Slang Terms( vulgar). to have sexual intercourse with. v.i.
to form or gather into a ball: When the spun sugar balls, the candy has cooked sufficiently.
Slang Terms( vulgar). to have sexual intercourse.
Slang Terms, Idioms ball the jack:
to act with speed. to stake everything on one attempt. Slang Terms ball up, to make or become utterly confused; muddle: The records had been all balled up by inefficient file clerks.
ball ′er, n.
Gmc * ballaz; compare Old Norse bǫllr, Old High German bal, ballo, balla, German Ball, Dutch bal; perh. akin to Latin follis leather bag; see ballock Old French Middle English bal, balle 1175–1225 ball
2 (bôl), USA pronunciation n.
a large, usually lavish, formal party featuring social dancing and sometimes given for a particular purpose, as to introduce debutantes or benefit a charitable organization. Informal Termsa thoroughly good time: Have a ball on your vacation!
Greek (Magna Graecia) ballízein to dance Late Latin ballāre French bal, noun, nominal derivative of baler (now baller) to dance 1625–35 Ball
(bôl), USA pronunciation n.
(wīld born 1909, U.S. lawyer, investment banker, and government official. ′mən), USA pronunciation
Biographical John, died 1381, English priest: one of the leaders of Wat Tyler's peasants' revolt in 1381. Biographical Lucille, 1911–89, U.S. actress. WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019 Ball, + n.
Biographical Lucille, 1911–89, U.S. actress.
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
ball / bɔːl/ n a spherical or nearly spherical body or mass a round or roundish body, either solid or hollow, of a size and composition suitable for any of various games: football, golf, billiards, etc a ball propelled in a particular way in a sport: a high ball any of various rudimentary games with a ball: to play ball a single delivery of the ball by the bowler to the batsman a single delivery of the ball by a pitcher outside certain limits and not swung at by the batter a solid nonexplosive projectile for a firearm Compare shell such projectiles collectively any more or less rounded part or protuberance: the ball of the foot slang a testicle See balls another word for bolus the hard mass of roots and earth removed with the rest of the plant during transplanting ball of muscle ⇒ Austral a very strong, fit, or forceful person have the ball at one's feet ⇒ to have the chance of doing something keep the ball rolling ⇒ to maintain the progress of a project, plan, etc on the ball ⇒ informal alert; informed play ball ⇒ informal to cooperate set the ball rolling, start the ball rolling ⇒ to open or initiate (an action, discussion, movement, etc) the ball is in your court ⇒ you are obliged to make the next move vb ( transitive) to make, form, wind, etc, into a ball or balls: to ball wool ( intransitive) to gather into a ball or balls taboo slang chiefly US to copulate (with) Etymology: 13 th Century: from Old Norse böllr; related to Old High German balla, Italian palla French balle USAGE Sense 9 of this word was formerly considered to be taboo, and it was labelled as such in previous editions of Collins English Dictionary. However, it has now become acceptable in speech, although some older or more conservative people may object to its use ball / bɔːl/ n a social function for dancing, esp one that is lavish or formal informal a very enjoyable time (esp in the phrase have a ball) Etymology: 17 th Century: from French bal (n), from Old French baller (vb), from Late Latin ballāre to dance, from Greek ballizein
ball' also found in these entries: