ballpoint pen

ball·​point pen | \ ˈbȯl-ˌpȯint- How to pronounce ballpoint pen (audio) \
variants: or less commonly ballpoint \ ˈbȯl-​ˌpȯint How to pronounce ballpoint (audio) \

Definition of ballpoint pen

: a pen having as the writing point a small rotating metal ball that inks itself by contact with an inner magazine

Examples of ballpoint pen in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Ian gives Otter Tooth’s diary to Jamie and Claire, and Claire realizes it was written in ballpoint pen. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "Outlander recap: Every time we say goodbye...," 4 May 2020 Joy Priest, a poet at FAWC, wakes up each morning and handwrites her daily schedule on notebook paper in neat blue ballpoint pen. Los Angeles Times, "They came to make art in isolation; the pandemic forced them to stay," 29 Apr. 2020 Voters are encouraged to bring their own black ballpoint pen. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Early voting: Where you can still cast a ballot in-person before the April 7 election in the Milwaukee area," 31 Mar. 2020 To create the works, the 65-year-old artist provides written or illustrated instructions for viewers, inviting them to pose with wooden furniture, plastic buckets or ballpoint pens in unusual, sometimes physically strenuous, positions. Coco Romack, New York Times, "Watch an Artist Make a One-Minute Sculpture With a Sweater," 19 Feb. 2020 This species gives birth to live young, which are a mere .04 to .08 inches when they’re born—about the size of a ballpoint pen tip. National Geographic, "Partula snail," 26 Mar. 2020 Think of the zipper, the ballpoint pen or the paper clip — items designed out of frustration with the existing order. cleveland, "2020 Toyota Highlander review: A vehicle sure to excite any parent," 22 Feb. 2020 The cooling device is a thin tube as long as a ballpoint pen. Jordan Wilkerson, Dallas News, "UT Dallas researchers create fridges with a twist," 23 Jan. 2020 That's because the tiny sensor, which is smaller than the size of a ballpoint pen tip, can make nearly anything a touchscreen—including surfaces that aren't traditionally suited to the technology, like metal, glass, wood, plastic, and ceramic. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "This New Tech Can Turn Any Surface Into a Touchscreen," 26 Dec. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of ballpoint pen

1953, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ballpoint pen

Time Traveler for ballpoint pen

Time Traveler

The first known use of ballpoint pen was in 1953

See more words from the same year

Statistics for ballpoint pen

Last Updated

17 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ballpoint pen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ballpoint pen

ballpoint pen

How to pronounce ballpoint pen (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ballpoint pen

: a pen whose tip is a small metal ball that rolls on a writing surface

More from Merriam-Webster on ballpoint pen

Spanish Central: Translation of ballpoint pen

Comments on ballpoint pen

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Obscure Shapes

  • a pile of three dimensional shapes in green
  • Something that is ooid is shaped like:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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