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

Morton spun his looping curveball to early success. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros rough up White Sox again to reach 60 wins," 8 July 2018 From the start, showrunner Mike Schur has been perfecting the art of subverting expectations and throwing curveballs into the story at a rate that would cripple pretty much any other show. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "4 TV shows to check out, from The Good Place to Lil Rel Howery’s new show," 27 Sep. 2018 Another curveball was that her co-stars Eric McCormack and Debra Messing, along with supporting actor Sean Hayes, were also snubbed. Jackie Strause, The Hollywood Reporter, "Emmys: Megan Mullally Disappointed in 'Will and Grace' Comedy Series Snub," 12 July 2018 Simon Cowell threw a curveball at America’s Got Talent contestant Hunter Price. Lars Brandle, Billboard, "Simon Cowell Stopped 'America's Got Talent' Contestant Hunter Price and Requested a Second Song: Watch," 10 July 2018 Scott’s fastball on the mound has touched 93 mph and scouts have regarded his curveball highly. Andre C. Fernandez, miamiherald, "Marlins pick high schooler in first round again, choosing talented Florida outfielder," 4 June 2018 Gray last season averaged in the mid-90s with his fastball and also throws sliders and curveballs with the occasional change-up. Nick Piecoro, azcentral, "Game Day: Arizona Diamondbacks open 2018 season against Colorado Rockies," 28 Mar. 2018 For those of us who are used to looking a certain way, aging really throws a curveball. Abby Langer, SELF, "12 Actually Really Good Things That Have Come With Getting Older," 13 Aug. 2018 Hess lost a curveball for ball one to open the at-bat, then dropped a second one into the strike zone to even the count. Jon Meoli,, "Orioles' David Hess struggles to put Braves away as 7-3 loss denies sweep," 24 June 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

9 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with curveball

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