ball and chain

noun

Definition of ball and chain

: something that limits one's freedom or ability to do things Drugs are a ball and chain for many people. (old-fashioned) He referred to his wife as "the ball and chain."

Learn More about ball and chain

Share ball and chain

Statistics for ball and chain

Look-up Popularity

Comments on ball and chain

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to gather or build up little by little

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!