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can·​non·​ball ˈka-nən-ˌbȯl How to pronounce cannonball (audio)
: a usually round solid missile made for firing from a cannon
: a jump into water made with the arms holding the knees tight against the chest
: a hard flat tennis service
: an express train


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cannonballed; cannonballing; cannonballs

intransitive verb

: to travel with great speed

Example Sentences

Verb a dune buggy came recklessly cannonballing down the crowded beach
Recent Examples on the Web
Players spent thousands of hours within this version of Hyrule learning how to exploit the new systems, turning boulders into cannonballs and metal doors into makeshift bridges. Zachary Small, New York Times, 4 May 2023 The zipper across the top will prevent your things from getting sprayed by nearby cannonball splashes, and the polyester lining will protect it against sand entering through the cracks of the bag. Alyssa Grabinski, Peoplemag, 5 Apr. 2023 As boats transported unwashed recruits crammed together in filth, the men became lethal vectors, deadlier than a cascade of cannonballs. David Grann, The New Yorker, 28 Feb. 2023 Beta-lactams are the cannonball sent to destroy the bacteria’s fortress, and Vibrio adapts by activating two genes that temporarily remove its cell wall. Megan Keller, Fortune Well, 12 Apr. 2023 If anything, Noseda seemed intent on casting harder light for longer shadows, especially through the slow-stretching introduction before the first movement’s cannonball into allegro vivace and the way its themes atomize and reassemble at its conclusion. Washington Post, 21 Jan. 2022 But that's where the real carnage starts: When the invaders are on top of ice, the cannonballs rain down on them, sending soldiers into the bloody water as some of them drown and others are violently ripped apart. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, 25 Apr. 2023 One pool is still reserved for adults, while the other is often packed with preschoolers wearing floats and tweens doing cannonballs. Debra Kamin, New York Times, 29 Mar. 2023 The cannonballs expose the underlying abusive relationship between Betty’s parents. Robert Allen Papinchak | For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 26 Jan. 2023
Made from a nylon and elastane blend, there is enough comfort and support to cannonball into your favorite lake. Erinne Magee, Travel + Leisure, 17 May 2023 Solmund Nystabakk, 40, who watched his son cannonball into the fjord by the Edvard Munch museum, said that the moment a wild animal appeared out of its natural habitat, people projected personality onto it. New York Times, 19 Aug. 2022 For anyone who’s so constrained but still longing to sip a cocktail while soaking on a pool step or to cannonball in after a long day, these little dippers can appeal. Allison Duncan, WSJ, 29 July 2022 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 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cannonball.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1606, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1899, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cannonball was in 1606

Dictionary Entries Near cannonball

Cite this Entry

“Cannonball.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a usually round solid missile for firing from a cannon
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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