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

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 The chartreuse caviar is a touch of whimsy served alongside a cocktail called the Canary Trap ($16), a highball variant of a Tom Collins imagined by head bartender Jess Lambert. Michael Nagrant, RedEye Chicago, "Worth a trip: Mezcal old fashioned from Vol. 39," 20 Dec. 2017 It was called Americano, Americano, and combined at least three meanings of the word: a highball, an Italian aperitif wine and a diluted shot of espresso. New York Times, "Red-Sauce Italian Cooking Finds a Future at Don Angie," 29 May 2018 The cocktails at Longway are almost all classics, like a Sidecar, a Martini, a Sazerac or a whiskey highball. Todd A. Price, NOLA.com, "Longway Tavern a welcoming retreat in the French Quarter: Opening alert," 24 May 2018 The cocktails at Longway, overseen by Deegan, are classics or subtle spins on classics, such as a Sazerac, a highball or a Piña Colada with Green Chartreuse. Todd A. Price, NOLA.com, "Longway Tavern, from Barrel Proof and Sylvain, opens Thursday," 15 May 2018 The Japanese company, Hoshizaki Lancer, which developed the highball machine technology simply had to rebrand them for the American market. Brittany Martin, Los Angeles Magazine, "High-Tech Cocktail Machines Are Now Dispensing Drinks at Dodger Stadium," 27 Apr. 2018 The cranberry spritzers and sparkling lemonades are offered in highball-style glasses. Alina Dizik, WSJ, "High-End Dining for the High-Chair Set," 3 Apr. 2018 Ivory on Sunset Add ice to a highball glass and top with 2 ounces spiced rum, ¾ ounce orgeat syrup, ¾ ounce lemon juice, and ¼ ounce Cherry Herring. Helin Jung, Cosmopolitan, "6 Delicious Cocktails You Have to Try When You're in West Hollywood," 2 Sep. 2016

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

The first known use of highball was in 1894

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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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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).


playful or foolish behavior

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