curve·​ball | \ˈkərv-ˌbȯl \

Definition of curveball 

: 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

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Other Words from curveball

curveball verb

Examples of curveball in a Sentence

The batter struck out on a curveball.

Recent Examples on the Web

McCullers did race ahead of Chad Pinder 0-2, only to hang another curveball which the A's left fielder deposited into the Crawford Boxes. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Athletics hammer Lance McCullers in Astros' loss," 12 July 2018 Nola is known for his dirt-diving, bending curveball. Scott Lauber,, "Phillies ace Aaron Nola's devastating offspeed pitches put him in the fast lane to the All-Star Game," 12 July 2018 The production operates in familiar territory thanks to 40’s classic lo-fi frequencies and pounding 808s but there are certainly some electronic curveballs that Drake handles seamlessly. Scott Glaysher, Billboard, "Ranking Each Song From the B-Side of Drake's 'Scorpion' Album: Critic's Take," 30 June 2018 Gonzales was sharp early, spotting a fastball that broke into the low 90s along with a changeup, curveball and cutter. Ken Powtak,, "Sale Strikes Out 13 In 7 Innings As Red Sox Shut Out Mariners," 24 June 2018 Markakis then fouled off three straight pitches — another curveball in the zone, a center-cut fastball, then another elevated one on the outer half that Markakis fought off. Jon Meoli,, "Orioles' David Hess struggles to put Braves away as 7-3 loss denies sweep," 24 June 2018 Related stories from Kansas City Star Royals close HDH era, send Kelvin Herrera to Nationals for three minor-league prospects Then, to end the game, Mondesi drove a Keone Kela curveball 412 feet to center. Jesse Newell, kansascity, "How the Royals learned about the Kelvin Herrera trade before Monday's 6-3 loss," 18 June 2018 Only a starting pitcher for one season as a high schooler in Florida, Richardson possesses a curveball/slider that has the potential to be a quality pitch in the professional levels. Bobby Nightengale,, "Cincinnati Reds complete MLB Draft, plan to sign more picks with new minor league team," 6 June 2018 Glass said his fastball, curveball and change-up all worked well Thursday. Jason Frakes, The Courier-Journal, "Glass throws one-hitter as PRP beats Bullitt East for Sixth Region title," 31 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of curveball

1936, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for curveball

Last Updated

19 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for curveball

The first known use of curveball was in 1936

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More Definitions for curveball



English Language Learners Definition of curveball

baseball : a pitch that is thrown with spin so that the ball curves in the air

More from Merriam-Webster on curveball

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Comments on curveball

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


something that serves to warn or remind

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