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

Without asking permission, Sarah and Jen entered the house, looking all over before jetting upstairs to the bedroom, where Hannah was balled up between the bed and dresser. Lauren Smiley, Glamour, "Two White Moms. Six Black Kids. One Unthinkable Tragedy. A Look Inside the ‘Perfect’ Hart Family," 6 Sep. 2018 That allowed Holaday’s lightly hit ball up the middle to sneak through for the game-winning hit. Matthew Defranks,, "A Closer Look: Miami Marlins 4, Milwaukee Brewers 3 (10 innings)," 10 July 2018 Doing the Job Once again, Brazil brings the ball up facing an eight-man defense. Matthew Futterman And Victor Mather, New York Times, "Brazil Gets Its First Win, a Triumph of Grit More Than Style," 23 June 2018 There was Ilgauskas grinning after putting in an airball from Snow, who had to get the ball up over about four people with the shot clock about to expire. Rich Exner,, "Flashback to when another trade-depleted Cleveland Cavs team won in 2008 - with just 8 players," 9 Feb. 2018 Kentucky quickly got the ball up court in hopes of answering, but that quest to go ahead resulted in steal by Jordan Bowden and Schofield's thunderous dunk with 4 seconds left for a 61-58 lead. USA TODAY, "No. 15 Tennessee edges No. 24 Kentucky 61-59," 6 Feb. 2018 Belgium was awarded the throw, but Mbappe picked the ball up and conveniently dropped the ball towards goal. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "Kylian Mbappe unleashed a time-wasting masterpiece during France's semifinal win," 10 July 2018 The elder Mayer graduated this spring and will be slinging balls up the road in Oxford for Miami. Cincinnati Enquirer,, "Covington Catholic's Michael Mayer commits to Notre Dame Fighting Irish for football," 1 July 2018 But then, in the 63rd minute, from a free-kick only five yards outside his own penalty box, Robinson launched the ball up the field., "Tottenham vs Watford Match Preview: Classic Encounter, Key Battle, Team News & More," 29 Apr. 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

17 Nov 2018

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

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the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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