curve·​ball ˈkərv-ˌbȯl How to pronounce curveball (audio)
: a slow or moderately fast baseball pitch thrown with spin to make it swerve downward and usually to the left when thrown from the right hand or to the right when thrown from the left hand
curveball verb

Example Sentences

The batter struck out on a curveball.
Recent Examples on the Web Reds starting rotationReds game observations: Nick Lodolo's curveball in midseason form during spring win There is data from how the rule changes affected play in the minor leagues, but the majors are a different testing ground. Bobby Nightengale, The Enquirer, 23 Mar. 2023 Such a blend of power and plate discipline is the ideal combination for teams in 2023, using a top-of-the-lineup option that can both set the table and smash a hanging curveball or middle-middle fastball. Michael Shapiro, Chron, 20 Mar. 2023 Bauer’s repertoire at the time he was drafted included a fastball that touched 98, a wicked curveball, and a splitter, slider and changeup that were works in progress. Bernie Pleskoff, Forbes, 16 Mar. 2023 And his curveball/changeup mix might be the best mix of secondary stuff in the system. Evan Grant, Dallas News, 14 Mar. 2023 In this instance, the curveball will come in the form of a partner swap, which will see all the couples spending three days with someone else from the experiment who isn't their original husband or wife. Alicia Vrajlal,, 9 Mar. 2023 Leo July 23-August 22 Professional matters might present you with a curveball or two today, Leo. Chicago Tribune, 3 Mar. 2023 The one-two pitch on the way: curveball, tapped foul off to the left of the plate. Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 4 Aug. 2022 Civale walked leadoff batter Gleyber Torres on four pitches before getting away with an extremely hittable 3-2 curveball that Judge (perhaps shocked at the pitch selection) swung through. Pete Caldera, USA TODAY, 18 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1936, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of curveball was in 1936

Dictionary Entries Near curveball

Cite this Entry

“Curveball.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Mar. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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