high·​ball | \ ˈhī-ˌbȯl How to pronounce highball (audio) \

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

Verb trying to make up for lost time, the train just highballed through the station without stopping
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The size of the glassware very much depends on the style of drink: the lighter and easier the cocktail, the longer its vessel—the highball being a prime example. Danielle Bernabe, Fortune, "When the white gloves come off: Behind the scenes at one of London’s most historic and upscale hotel bars," 12 Feb. 2020 Side by side on the bar was his pack of menthol Marlboros and a Visa to keep the highballs coming. Kevin Spear, orlandosentinel.com, "Hurricane Dorian’s thunderous surf is awesome, fearsome relief to tedium in Brevard County," 3 Sep. 2019 Enjoy three Jim Beam and House of Suntory highballs, food pairings and live music during a benefit for the Washburne Culinary & Hospitality Institute from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Jetty on the Chicago Riverwalk (between Franklin and Wells streets). Samantha Nelson, chicagotribune.com, "Best Chicago happy hour deals: Aug. 22-28," 22 Aug. 2019 In Japan, the proper execution of the highball amounts to a religion. Bon Appétit, "The 5 Elements of a Flawless Highball," 16 July 2019 Your people will wear cardigans and drink highballs. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "5 Movies You Completely Forgot Were Set at Thanksgiving," 28 Nov. 2019 Nonalcoholic drinks include a cherry blossom soda ($7) with Rare Tea Cellars sakura green tea syrup and high pressure club soda from the highball machine. Louisa Chu, chicagotribune.com, "Gaijin, new Japanese-inspired West Loop restaurant by chef Paul Virant, is a love letter to his wife," 18 Nov. 2019 Whatever your brown liquor of choice may be — rye, Irish whiskey or bourbon — mixing it with Bitters & Soda makes a terrific highball before dinner. Lisa Futterman, chicagotribune.com, "Bitters and soda, the classic combination, now comes in a can and it’s being embraced by those cutting back on drinking," 5 Nov. 2019 The Spanish cocktail barely resembles the highball from the American corner bar, often made from cheap gin topped with syrupy tonic from the soda gun. Lisa Futterman, chicagotribune.com, "No mere gin and tonic: Spanish craze employs fruits and herbs to pause summer," 11 July 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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Time Traveler for highball

Time Traveler

The first known use of highball was in 1894

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Statistics for highball

Last Updated

29 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Highball.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/highball. Accessed 6 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for highball


How to pronounce highball (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of highball

US, somewhat old-fashioned : 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for highball

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with highball

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about highball

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