fast·​ball ˈfas(t)-ˌbȯl How to pronounce fastball (audio)
: a baseball pitch thrown at full speed and often appearing to rise slightly as it nears the plate
fastballer noun

Example Sentences

He struck him out with a fastball.
Recent Examples on the Web The fastball and the splitter and the slider, that's really great to look down there and see. The Arizona Republic, 14 Mar. 2023 His fastball is up a couple of ticks, routinely reaching 96 mph after averaging 94.4 mph last year. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 10 Mar. 2023 The fastball and a slider that showed good sweeping movement, though, are both legitimate enough offerings to give Maldonado back-end reliever upside. Journal Sentinel, 7 Mar. 2023 His fastball is just average in terms of velocity (88-93 mph) but pure velocity isn’t everything. Evan Grant, Dallas News, 2 Mar. 2023 Legumina, 25, is in big league camp competing for a spot on the Opening Day roster, and his fastball is one of the most interesting pitches in camp. Charlie Goldsmith, The Enquirer, 24 Feb. 2023 Sellers transferred to Oregon State last summer and turned heads in the fall with a four-pitch arsenal that includes a low-90s fastball, changeup, slider and emerging cutter. Joe Freeman, oregonlive, 15 Feb. 2023 Wilson's four-seam fastball, once considered to be his best pitch, was tagged heavily, leading him to decrease its usage noticeably as 2022 went on. Todd Rosiak, Journal Sentinel, 4 Jan. 2023 So fastball, curveball, changeup, a lot of the repertoire and then the pitchability and the command of the pitcher, as well as the overall mental makeup. Tim Brown, WSJ, 28 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1883, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of fastball was in 1883

Dictionary Entries Near fastball

Cite this Entry

“Fastball.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


fast·​ball ˈfas(t)-ˌbȯl How to pronounce fastball (audio)
: a baseball pitch thrown at full speed

More from Merriam-Webster on fastball

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Challenging Standardized Test Words, Vol. 2

  • a pencil broken in half on top of a test answer sheet
  • The business’s new computer system proved not to be a panacea.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?