curve·​ball | \ ˈkərv-ˌbȯl How to pronounce curveball (audio) \

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

Other Words from curveball

curveball verb

Examples of curveball in a Sentence

The batter struck out on a curveball.
Recent Examples on the Web With a four-pitch arsenal that includes a slider, sinker, changeup and curveball, Ashby is actually tougher on right-handed hitters than lefties – .180 to .286. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 30 Sep. 2021 Roberts expressed confidence in White before the game, noting his success in attacking the zone more frequently with his fastball, changeup and curveball. Luca Evans, Los Angeles Times, 18 Aug. 2021 Expect anything from rabbit leg, mushroom ragout, and leek soup with pear to curveball desserts such as pumpkin mousse, marshmallow ice cream, and caramel popcorn. Nicola Leigh Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, 15 Nov. 2021 Kelly Clarkson Show, in a true curveball from her usual Kellyoke fare. Justin Curto, Vulture, 11 Nov. 2021 What are those hard questions, uncomfortable objections or curveball concerns that have a tendency to make your prospects go cold? Sean O'neal, Forbes, 8 Nov. 2021 Maggie experiences success at work and in love; Gary needs to let go of things from his past; Rome fields a curveball with his movie; Regina has her own drama to deal with. Washington Post, 3 Nov. 2021 His mid-90s fastball at the top of the strike zone, complemented by a slider and curveball that broke off that pitch, produced five innings of weak contact, with the Astros hitting a succession of pop ups and fly balls., 20 Oct. 2021 Manning generated his eight swings and misses on three two-seamers, two four-seamers, one changeup, one slider and one curveball. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, 3 Oct. 2021

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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Time Traveler for curveball

Time Traveler

The first known use of curveball was in 1936

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Dictionary Entries Near curveball



curve-billed thrasher

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Statistics for curveball

Last Updated

8 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Curveball.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for curveball



English Language Learners Definition of curveball

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


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