1

ball

noun, often attributive \ ˈbȯl \

Definition of ball

1 : a round or roundish body or mass: such as
a : a spherical or ovoid body used in a game or sport
  • a tennis ball
used figuratively in phrases like the ball is in your court to indicate who has the responsibility or opportunity for further action
b : earth, globe
c : a spherical or conical projectile; also : projectiles used in firearms
d : a roundish protuberant anatomical structure (as near the tip of a human finger or toe or at the base of a thumb); especially : the part of the sole of the human foot between the toes and arch on which the main weight of the body rests in normal walking
2 a usually vulgar : testis
b balls plural
(1) often vulgar : nonsense often used interjectionally
(2) often vulgar : nerve 3
3 : a game in which a ball is thrown, kicked, or struck; also : quality of play in such a game
4 a : a pitch not swung at by the batter that fails to pass through the strike zone
b : a hit or thrown ball in various games
  • foul ball
on the ball
1 : competent, knowledgeable, alert
  • the other introductory essay … is much more on the ball
  • The Times Literary Supplement (London)
  • keep on the ball
2 : of ability or competence
  • if the teacher has something on the ball, the pupils won't squirm much
  • New Yorker

Origin and Etymology of ball

Middle English bal, probably from Old English *beall; akin to Old English bealluc testis, Old High German balla ball, Old Norse bǫllr, Old English blāwan to blow — more at blow


2

ball

verb

Definition of ball

transitive verb
1 : to form or gather into a ball
  • balled the paper into a wad
2 usually vulgar : to have sexual intercourse with
intransitive verb
1 : to form or gather into a ball
2 usually vulgar : to engage in sexual intercourse

Examples of ball in a Sentence

  1. I stood up quickly and balled my hands into fists.

  2. He balled the letter in his hands and threw it in the trash.

ball Synonyms

Synonyms
agglomerate, wad, roll, round
Antonyms
unroll
Related Words
bunch, clump, lump; bead, pearl, pellet, pelletize; sphere
Near Antonyms
flatten, open, smooth, spread, unfold

3

ball

noun

Definition of ball

1 : a large formal gathering for social dancing
2 : a very pleasant experience : a good time
  • everyone had a ball at the wedding

Origin and Etymology of ball

French bal, from Old French, from baller to dance, from Late Latin ballare, from Greek ballizein


Ball

biographical name \ ˈbȯl \

Definition of Ball

John died 1381 English priest and social agitator

Ball

biographical name

Definition of Ball

Lucille (Désirée) 1911–1989 American actress and comedienne

BALL Defined for English Language Learners

ball

verb

Definition of ball for English Language Learners

  • : to form (something) into a ball


BALL Defined for Kids

1

ball

noun \ ˈbȯl \

Definition of ball for Students

1 : something round or roundish
  • a ball of yarn
2 : a round or roundish object used in a game or sport
3 : a game or sport (as baseball) played with a ball
4 : a solid usually round shot for a gun
5 : the rounded bulge at the base of the thumb or big toe
  • the ball of the foot
6 : a pitched baseball that is not hit and is not a strike

2

ball

verb

Definition of ball for Students

balled; balling
: to make or come together into a ball
  • He balled his fists.

3

ball

noun

Definition of ball for Students

1 : a large formal party for dancing
2 : a good time
  • I had a ball at the wedding.

Medical Dictionary

1

ball

noun \ ˈbȯl \

medical Definition of ball

: a round or roundish body or mass: as
a : a roundish protuberant part of the body: as
(1) : the rounded eminence by which the base of the thumb is continuous with the palm of the hand
(2) : the rounded broad part of the sole of the human foot between toes and arch and on which the main weight of the body first rests in normal walking
(3) : the padded rounded underside of a human finger or toe near the tip
b : eyeball
c often vulgar : testis
d : a large pill (as one used in veterinary medicine) : bolus

2

ball

transitive verb

medical Definition of ball

: to give a medicinal ball to (as a horse)


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up ball? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

of or relating to dancing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu-jedi-training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!