can·​non·​ball | \ ˈka-nən-ˌbȯl How to pronounce cannonball (audio) \

Definition of cannonball

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a usually round solid missile made for firing from a cannon
2 : a jump into water made with the arms holding the knees tight against the chest
3 : a hard flat tennis service
4 : an express train


cannonballed; cannonballing; cannonballs

Definition of cannonball (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to travel with great speed

Examples of cannonball in a Sentence

Verb a dune buggy came recklessly cannonballing down the crowded beach
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun All that was left standing was the brick walls of St. Paul’s Church (1739), where today a British cannonball remains embedded in the church wall. Washington Post, 5 Nov. 2021 It’s like jumping time and time again off a dock—a dive here, a cannonball or a can-opener there. Megan Gambino, Smithsonian Magazine, 10 Dec. 2021 At the Battle of the Nile, Napoleon’s naval commander loses both legs to a cannonball. The New Yorker, 22 Nov. 2021 For the team with the pirate logo, the memo was a cannonball across their bow. Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times, 12 Sep. 2021 The cannonball that killed him is on top of his monument., 1 Nov. 2021 There have also been concerts, religious ceremonies, Christmas posadas, and even a human cannonball who catapulted himself into the U.S. from Tijuana in 2005. San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 Aug. 2021 The technicians removed and transported the cannonball on Monday to Beaver Creek Quarry in Hagerstown, where it was safely detonated, Alkire said. Alaa Elassar, CNN, 28 Mar. 2021 Mayfield went down as if hit with a cannonball, then got up and screamed at the nearest man in stripes., 7 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Go swimming in Copper Canyon where folks cannonball from the rocks, or spend a quiet day exploring the details of the shoreline. Roger Naylor, The Arizona Republic, 17 July 2021 Excitement is important and the Volvo XC40 is like the guy at the party who showed up just to cannonball into the pool from the roof. Austin Irwin, Car and Driver, 9 May 2021 Over the weekend, David, Victoria, and their kids joined Elton John and David Furnish on a yacht trip in the South of France for an Instagram-worthy day of bonding, sunbathing, and cannonballing into the sea. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, 26 Aug. 2019 In February 2017, Ford cannonballed into the market, investing $1 billion self-driving startup Argo. Alex Davies, WIRED, 31 May 2018 In what can be considered typical Harbaugh fashion at this point, the Wolverines coach went ahead and cannonballed into the poll wearing his trademark khakis and polo. Chris Kwiecinski, ajc, 30 Sep. 2017 Amazon effectively cannonballed into the placid waters of the grocery industry by grabbing headlines with price cuts. Greg Trotter,, 31 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cannonball.' 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 cannonball


1606, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1899, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for cannonball

Time Traveler

The first known use of cannonball was in 1606

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Dictionary Entries Near cannonball



cannonball jellyfish

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Statistics for cannonball

Last Updated

18 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cannonball.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for cannonball



English Language Learners Definition of cannonball

: a heavy metal or stone ball that is shot from a cannon


can·​non·​ball | \ ˈka-nən-ˌbȯl How to pronounce cannonball (audio) \

Kids Definition of cannonball

1 : a usually round solid missile (as of stone or metal) for firing from a cannon
2 : a jump into water made with the arms holding the knees tight against the chest


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