ball: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (bôl), [key]
— n.
  1. a spherical or approximately spherical body or shape; sphere: He rolled the piece of paper into a ball.
  2. a round or roundish body, of various sizes and materials, either hollow or solid, for use in games, as baseball, football, tennis, or golf.
  3. a game played with a ball, esp. baseball: The boys are out playing ball.
  4. a pitched ball, not swung at by the batter, that does not pass over home plate between the batter's shoulders and knees.
    1. a solid, usually spherical projectile for a cannon, rifle, pistol, etc., as distinguished from a shell.
    2. projectiles, esp. bullets, collectively.
  5. any part of a thing, esp. of the human body, that is rounded or protuberant: the ball of the thumb.
  6. a round mass of food, as of chopped meat, dough, or candy.
  7. . a testis.
  8. .
    1. boldness; courage; brashness.
    2. nonsense (often used as an interjection).
  9. bolus (def. 1).
  10. a compact mass of soil covering the roots of an uprooted tree or other plant.
  11. a planetary or celestial body, esp. the earth.
  12. (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.
  13. to assume the responsibility; bear the burden: You can always count on him to carry the ball in an emergency.
  14. to continue or give renewed vigor to an activity already under way: When their interest lagged, he tried to keep the ball rolling.
  15. If you don't get on the ball, you'll be fired.
    1. alert and efficient or effective:If you don't get on the ball, you'll be fired.
    2. 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.
  16. union leaders suspected of playing ball with racketeers.
    1. to begin or continue playing a game.
    2. to start or continue any action.
    3. to work together; cooperate:union leaders suspected of playing ball with racketeers.
  17. to assume responsibility or work enthusiastically: If management approves the concept, we'll run with the ball.
  18. to put into operation; begin: The recreation director started the ball rolling by having all the participants introduce themselves.
  1. to make into a ball (sometimes fol. by up): The children were balling up snow to make a snowman.
  2. to wind into balls: to ball cotton.
  3. . to have sexual intercourse with.
  1. to form or gather into a ball: When the spun sugar balls, the candy has cooked sufficiently.
  2. . to have sexual intercourse.
    1. to act with speed.
    2. to stake everything on one attempt.
  3. to make or become utterly confused; muddle: The records had been all balled up by inefficient file clerks.


Pronunciation: (bôl), [key]
— n.
  1. 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.
  2. a thoroughly good time: Have a ball on your vacation!


Pronunciation: (bôl), [key]
— n.
  1. born 1909, U.S. lawyer, investment banker, and government official.
  2. died 1381, English priest: one of the leaders of Wat Tyler's peasants' revolt in 1381.
  3. 1911–89, U.S. actress.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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