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 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 Is the highball a forgiving, splash-it-and-done, perfect-for-lazy-summer-evenings sort of drink? M. Carrie Allan, Washington Post, "Highballs are casual drinks. But pay a little attention, and they can be sublime.," 18 June 2019 Restaurants all offer beer and the ubiquitous whiskey highball (one ounce of whiskey with club soda). Adam Rosenbaum, BostonGlobe.com, "Eating and drinking my way through Japan," 11 June 2019 How to Drink It In Japan, whisky is traditionally consumed in highballs, which combine the spirit with club soda for a refreshing and session-worthy mix. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "Why You Should Be Drinking Japanese Whiskey Now," 15 Nov. 2018 According to Kluger, the intertwining of highballs and high altitudes was inescapable—a natural evolution of the downtime imbibing of previous military generations. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Space and booze, an anecdotal history," 6 July 2019 The Suntory Toki highball machine spits out a mean cocktail. Soleil Ho, SFChronicle.com, "The Mission’s Prairie switches gears, but is it better?," 3 July 2019 By 1960, Suntory had introduced its first highball in a can, now a staple of social drinking. Hannah Lott-schwartz, Fortune, "Inside Japan’s Oldest Whisky Distillery," 16 June 2019 Aside from that, most people down fruity highballs and mojitos—in between shots, of course. Naren Young, Condé Nast Traveler, "19 Best Bars in Barcelona," 3 Mar. 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

26 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for highball

The first known use of highball was in 1894

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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

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

Comments on highball

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something of little or no value

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