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

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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

But Ryan Braun reached out and punched a 0-2 curveball off the plate for an RBI single that tied the game, 1-1. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Cubs 4, Brewers 1: Offense continues to be missing in action in third consecutive defeat," 3 Aug. 2019 Like Pressley, both of those ex-Blue Jays righties feature high-spin curveballs—a favorite of Houston’s—that could play up in relief. Jon Tayler,, "MLB Trade Deadline Winners and Losers: What Happened to the Yankees and Dodgers?," 31 July 2019 And during Tuesday night’s finale, we were thrown yet another wild curveball. Chuck Barney, The Mercury News, "‘The Bachelorette’: Was that a happy ending — or what?," 30 July 2019 VerHagen began his outing against the Seattle Mariners with two scoreless innings and a sharp curveball, but then the third inning came around. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers continue bad baseball, slammed 10-2 by Mariners," 26 July 2019 Fastballs and curveballs made up nearly three-quarters of his offerings. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "Clayton Kershaw’s Fastball Isn’t As Fast. Just Don’t Tell Him That.," 20 June 2019 There might be a diversion or a curveball that only happens once. Raisa Bruner, Time, "How a Live Orchestra Is Showing Off Another Side of K-Pop Greats Like BTS and BLACKPINK," 19 June 2019 With runners on second and third in the first, the AL Cy Young Award winner struck out the next three batters swinging with sharp breaking curveballs. Ken Powtak,, "Lowe’s 2 HRs help Rays prevail 6-1 in Boston," 9 June 2019 Left fielder Marwin Gonzalez led off the inning by shooting a Marco Gonzales 74 mph curveball up the middle for a single, past diving shortstop J.P. Crawford — who, to his credit, almost got there. Mike Vorel, The Seattle Times, "Mariners pile up near-misses and milestones in 7-1 loss to Minnesota Twins," 17 May 2019

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

10 Aug 2019

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with curveball

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).


not constant or steady

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