ball up


Definition of ball up

transitive verb

: to make a mess of : confuse, muddle

intransitive verb

: to become badly muddled or confused

Examples of ball up in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The Croats went on to win 3-0 - a result which leaves La Albiceleste on the brink of an ignominious early exit - and Caballero was at fault, lifting the ball up for Ante Rebic to volley home., "José Mourinho Slams Argentina Keeper Before Disastrous Error Against Croatia," 22 June 2018 The Cavs shot 42% from the field, hit just 9-of-34 three-pointers (26.5%) and coughed the ball up 15 times in comparison to the Celtics’ eight miscues. Michael Singer, USA TODAY, "LeBron James shows off uncanny memory with precise recall of all six Game 5 turnovers," 24 May 2018 Rozier, who did not have a turnover in 78 minutes over the first two games of the series, coughed the ball up 40 seconds after Dellavedova entered the game. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bucks guard Dellavedova happy to play key role in Game 3 victory," 21 Apr. 2018 He was trapped on the baseline before coughing the ball up with 1 minute 28 seconds left. Broderick Turner,, "Late-game turnovers by Clippers doom them to a 109-105 loss to Pacers," 24 Mar. 2018 The Spartans did not cough the ball up once in the final 17:52. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State basketball gets key contributions from bench to rally," 11 Feb. 2018 On display among the creations was a sculpture made out of 40 pairs of khaki pants—also sourced from Kmart—that were balled up, stuffed with paper, and expertly draped on a mannequin. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Born in Buffalo and Trained in London, Edwin Mohney Sources the Fabric for His Radical Ball Gowns at Kmart," 16 Feb. 2019 Doll’s staff also knows that opposing coaches are inclined to work the ball up the middle rather than take risks near the shutdown corners. Steve Reaven,, "Carson Kosonovich, Donovan Perkins still shutting the door in New Trier secondary," 14 July 2018 Davon Reed grabbed the defensive rebound, dribbled the ball up court and found Bridges at the three-point line. Keith Pompey,, "Sixers beat Suns in summer league in first Zhaire Smith-Mikal Bridges matchup," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ball up.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ball up

1884, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Dictionary Entries near ball up



ball turret

ball up


ball valve


Statistics for ball up

Last Updated

24 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ball up

The first known use of ball up was in 1884

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More from Merriam-Webster on ball up

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ball up

Comments on ball up

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to boil down or concentrate

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