snowball

noun
snow·ball | \ˈsnō-ˌbȯl \

Definition of snowball 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a round mass of snow pressed or rolled together

b : snow cone

2 : any of several cultivated shrubby viburnums (genus Viburnum) with clusters of white sterile flowers

called also snowball bush

snowball

verb
snowballed; snowballing; snowballs

Definition of snowball (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to engage in throwing snowballs

2 : to increase, accumulate, expand, or multiply at a rapidly accelerating rate

transitive verb

1 : to throw snowballs at

2 : to cause to increase or multiply at a rapidly accelerating rate

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Examples of snowball in a Sentence

Noun

This snow is perfect for making snowballs.

Verb

Problems snowball when early trouble signs are ignored. What started as a small annual concert has snowballed into a full-fledged music festival. consumers dealing with snowballing debt
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Try a yoga class on the water, sip a cold one on the brewery trail, or order a snowball in the shade. Valerie Bonk, Howard County Times, "10 ways to beat the heat in Howard County this summer," 6 June 2018 Kate Middleton couldn’t resist throwing a snowball at Prince William on their last day in Norway on Friday. Simon Perry, PEOPLE.com, "Kate Middleton Tried to Start a Snowball Fight with Prince William — and He Was Not Having It!," 2 Feb. 2018 There’s a pre-show snowball fight between the audience and one of Cirque’s clowns that’s a good reason to show up early. OregonLive.com, "Cirque du Soleil's 'Crystal' skates on thin ice despite standout moments: Review," 5 Apr. 2018 On Thursday, Booker and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) had a snowball duel. Stephen A. Crockett Jr., The Root, "Cory Booker and Jeff Flake Had a Snowball Duel, and I Have Questions ... a lot of Questions," 22 Mar. 2018 But when your friends share to their friends, who share to their friends, and then something starts to happen -- the snowball effect. Heran Mamo, Billboard, "Us the Duo Talk Decision to Go On 'America's Got Talent,' New Tour & Coming Up on Vine With Shawn Mendes," 12 June 2018 The Washington Post has reached out to the Maple Heights Police Department to verify the call about a snowball fight. Cleve R. Wootson Jr., chicagotribune.com, "A white woman called police on a black 12-year-old who was mowing grass," 30 June 2018 Was there time for a fast run for an ice cream or snowball before the corner confectionery store closed for the night? Jacques Kelly, baltimoresun.com, "Remembering Baltimore's magical glow from gaslights on a summer night," 14 July 2018 Can't decide which New Orleans snowball stand to go to? Ann Maloney, NOLA.com, "Looking for a New Orleans snowball? There's an app for that," 11 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Eventually Bolling's message snowballed into a total love fest (cue the waterworks) as professionals from all career fields shared kind words and appreciation for nurses and hairstylists everywhere. Caroline Alkire, Good Housekeeping, "A Hairstylist Reminded the World How Incredible Nurses Are With One Facebook Post," 28 Feb. 2017 So here’s the new problem: America’s declining popularity and the accompanying lack of respect that started to snowball after November 2016 is threatening to put a brand-new dagger through the hearts of U.S. soccer lovers like me. Will Bunch, Philly.com, "World Cup with no U.S. is a metaphor for what's wrong in America right now | Will Bunch," 12 June 2018 Things started to snowball for Reid on Tuesday evening when prominent LGBTQ organization PFLAG National rescinded its Straight for Equality in Media award to Reid amid the scandal. Brian Flood, Fox News, "Embattled MSNBC star Joy Reid fat-shamed 'chubbed-out shrew' Rosie O'Donnell amid feud with Trump, report says," 26 Apr. 2018 Nevertheless, the story snowballed this past week, with thousands expressing outrage online about both family separations or the HHS survey from last year. Amy B Wang, Washington Post, "The U.S. lost track of 1,475 immigrant children last year. Here’s why people are outraged now.," 27 May 2018 What started out as a website for reviews and photo-sharing has snowballed into a hub for the camping community and outdoors enthusiasts to compare experiences, recommend favorite spots and gear, and even pass along camp recipes. Sunset, "This App Makes Finding the Perfect Campground So Much Easier," 22 Jan. 2018 And during a stretch of weather that is cooking Houston, snowballs (or sno-balls, as they are sometimes spelled in the Big Easy) couldn't be more welcome. Greg Morago, Houston Chronicle, "New snowball stand launched by Bebidas in River Oaks," 27 June 2018 The problem has snowballed in recent years as fewer people enter teacher prep programs and apply for teaching positions, and as waves of teachers have quit the profession or retired. Ricardo Cano, azcentral, "Pay raises for teachers, staff vary across Arizona school districts after #RedForEd," 3 June 2018 Nevertheless, the story snowballed this past week, with thousands expressing outrage online about both family separations or the HHS survey from last year. Amy B Wang, Washington Post, "The U.S. lost track of 1,475 immigrant children last year. Here’s why people are outraged now.," 27 May 2018

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

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1843, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

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Statistics for snowball

Last Updated

24 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for snowball

The first known use of snowball was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for snowball

snowball

noun

English Language Learners Definition of snowball

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a ball of snow that someone makes usually for throwing

snowball

verb

English Language Learners Definition of snowball (Entry 2 of 2)

: to increase, grow, etc., at a faster and faster rate

snowball

noun
snow·ball | \ˈsnō-ˌbȯl \

Kids Definition of snowball

: a round mass of snow pressed or rolled together

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Comments on snowball

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