pin·​ball | \ ˈpin-ˌbȯl How to pronounce pinball (audio) \
pinballed; pinballing; pinballs

Definition of pinball

intransitive verb

: to move abruptly from one place to another

Examples of pinball in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web At one point, hysterical laughter breaks out, pinballing from tree to tree. Kelsey Ables, Washington Post, "In an endless news cycle, art at Glenstone both echoes and quiets the chaos," 30 Jan. 2020 Now that the rock is coasting in interplanetary space instead of pinballing around the Earth-moon system, its journey is more predictable. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, "A Fleeting Moment in the Solar System," 20 Mar. 2020 Washington’s victory came with loads of luck —Lars Eller’s 2OT goal pinballed off himself and Blue Jackets’ defenseman Zach Werenski before trickling past the goal line. Tyler Horka,, "Stanley Cup Playoff Roundup: Crosby, Penguins Put Flyers on Brink of Elimination With Game 4 Win," 19 Apr. 2018 At 150 feet up, Harrington slipped and fell, pinballing off the rocks before finally being caught in her rope. Scott Ostler,, "Warriors light on wins but heavy on drama," 30 Nov. 2019 The conversation pinballs between tirades and black humour. The Economist, "Gourdean knot Jovenel Moïse tries to govern Haiti without a parliament," 18 Jan. 2020 Pedestrians pinballed off each other, past street vendors hawking incense and used CDs. John Freeman Gill, New York Times, "Restoring Brooklyn’s Queen of Department Stores," 22 Nov. 2019 Yet the line, which was Alabama -4 early in the week, has pinballed between -3 and -3.5. Christopher Smith, al, "Week 14 SEC football betting preview," 30 Nov. 2019 Jenny pinballed off their bodies, her flight suit buffering impacts, and burst outside. David Canfield,, "Read a creepy first excerpt from George A. Romero's posthumous The Living Dead novel," 23 Sep. 2019

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

1955, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of pinball was in 1955

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Cite this Entry

“Pinball.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on pinball

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pinball

Spanish Central: Translation of pinball Encyclopedia article about pinball

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