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 Build the cocktail by adding all ingredients into a highball glass (or preferred glass tumbler) over ice; stir gently. Megan Murphy, Robb Report, "11 Creative Takes on the Gin & Tonic From Some of the World’s Best Bars," 21 Apr. 2021 Alvaro Ortiz left Augusta that year with a silver medal for being the runner-up amateur behind Viktor Hovland, plus a pair of crystal highball glasses for making an eagle in his second round. Tim Reynolds, ajc, "At the Masters, Bubba Watson enjoys standard Augusta fare," 5 Apr. 2021 Familiarity has bred alarm: the book feels, in 2021, more potent, more pernicious, less of a riotous highball and more of a ruinous opioid. Stacy Schiff, The New Yorker, "Véra Nabokov Was the First and Greatest Champion of “Lolita”," 5 Mar. 2021 Cocktails have become complex projects with as many as a dozen ingredients — a major change from the simple highball, scotch and soda, and rum and Coke of the past. Patricia Doherty, Travel + Leisure, "The History of the Aperitivo — and How to Enjoy It Like an Italian," 26 Feb. 2021 The embodiment of lagom, it’s an easy-drinking highball with just an ounce of aquavit (gin or vodka works too), flavored with a no-cook, no-waste citrus cordial that uses the whole fruit, peel and all. Kara Newman, WSJ, "Cocktails Scandinavian Style: The New Hygge," 26 Dec. 2020 With vintage good looks and the perfect size for your favorite holiday cocktail, these highball glasses will add a little retro flair to your bar cart (or Zoom happy hour). Krystin Arneson, CNN Underscored, "Save big during Macy’s Black Friday sale on clothes, home and beauty," 27 Nov. 2020 Add ingredients except the cinnamon; shake and strain into a highball glass filled with crushed ice. Beth Segal, cleveland, "Northeast Ohio’s apple harvest is ripe for the picking," 17 Sep. 2020 Try Salon Chharqu for herbaceous cocktails with indigenous ingredients, or Siete Negronis for a highball made with Träkál, a ginlike spirit distilled in Patagonia. Mark Johanson, Travel + Leisure, "Santiago Is Surrounded by Chile’s Famous Wine Regions — but You Can Enjoy the Country’s Best Wines Without Leaving the City," 20 Aug. 2020

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 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Highball.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/highball. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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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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