high·​ball | \ ˈhī-ˌbȯl \

Definition of highball

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an iced drink containing liquor (such as whiskey) and water or a carbonated beverage (such as ginger ale) and served in a tall glass
2 : a railroad signal for a train to proceed at full speed


highballed; highballing; highballs

Definition of highball (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to go at full or high speed a highballing express train

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Examples of highball in a Sentence


trying to make up for lost time, the train just highballed through the station without stopping

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Deregulate Your Cocktails Light and effervescent, highballs are stupidly easy to make at home: Pour whiskey over ice, top with soda, and drink. Marian Bull, GQ, "—Peter Meehan, Author Of An Upcoming Barbecue Book And Former Editor Of," 27 June 2018 The recipe is straightforward: Fill a highball glass to the brim with ice. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "Why You Should Be Drinking Japanese Whiskey Now," 15 Nov. 2018 At Marina ManLand near the Los Angeles airport, plastic surgeon Grant Stevens advertises his sports bar-like practice with an image of a man on a leather couch, having a highball and smoking a cigar. Emma Ockerman, chicagotribune.com, "Wanted: Men unafraid of needles for Botox push," 22 June 2018 House Cocktail Recipe: 1 tsp fresh lemon Juice 4 oz Kentucky Ale-8-One (if unavailable, substitute your favorite ginger ale) 8 dashes Angostura bitters Directions: Build all of the ingredients except for soda in a highball glass with ice. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "The Historic Maker’s Mark Distillery is (Finally) Allowed to Serve Cocktails," 26 Apr. 2017 At Jordan’s new bar, the craft-cocktail program will focus on the classics and highballs. Tan Vinh, The Seattle Times, "Star chef Edouardo Jordan will open another restaurant in Seattle," 22 Oct. 2018 Dip rims of 6 highball glasses in water and press into celery salt to coat. Tiffani Thiessen, Good Housekeeping, "Bloody Caesar with Maple-Fennel Bacon," 9 Oct. 2018 The Masters rewards those who make an eagle with a special gift: a pair of crystal highball glasses. Teddy Greenstein, chicagotribune.com, "From Arlington Heights to Shinnecock Hills: Doug Ghim is living his dream," 10 June 2018 The Americano highball, so simple that just about any bartender can make it, doesn’t need much improvement. New York Times, "Red-Sauce Italian Cooking Finds a Future at Don Angie," 29 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'highball.' 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 highball


1894, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1911, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for highball

Last Updated

5 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for highball

The first known use of highball was in 1894

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More Definitions for highball



English Language Learners Definition of highball

: a drink of alcoholic liquor mixed with water or another liquid and served in a tall glass

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More from Merriam-Webster on highball

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with highball

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for highball

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about highball

Comments on highball

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


someone who never drinks alcohol

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