snowball

noun
snow·​ball | \ ˈsnō-ˌbȯl How to pronounce snowball (audio) \

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

The snowball of Alex Jones’ social media accounts being banned or removed for the world’s biggest social networks has been building for a while now. Stefan Etienne, The Verge, "Apple just permanently banned Infowars from the App Store," 8 Sep. 2018 Among the snowballs stands included: Hansen's Sno-Bliz, Pandora's, Imperial Woodpecker Sno-Balls, Plum Street, Lou Lou's Snoballs & Ice Cream and Broad Street Snoballs. Ann Maloney, NOLA.com, "Looking for a New Orleans snowball? There's an app for that," 11 May 2018 Most importantly, Samudra—the zoo's 8-year-old Asian elephant—showed us that having a trunk is the most fun way to throw snowballs right before heading back inside his warm barn. Country Living, "Watch What This Polar Bear Cub Does After Huge Snow Storm Shuts Down Oregon Zoo," 12 Jan. 2017 The snowball, Randy Smith suspects, started in a rare Cactus League game. Jeff Sanders, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Padres' Franchy Cordero proving difficult to keep down," 7 Mar. 2018 However, the best part is when Will and Kate started walking back from the festivities and erupted in a mini snowball fight. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Watch Kate Middleton and Prince William Have a Cute Snowball Fight," 4 Dec. 2018 On departure, the couple were met once again by a cloud of fake snow, this time with the addition of fake snowballs being thrown at them by cheeky members of the crowd. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "Kate Middleton Gives a Heartfelt Speech at a Christmas Party For Military Families," 4 Dec. 2018 Before the fire department in Kuragino, Russia, was alerted to smoke rising from a garage, two local police officers helped put out the fire armed with nothing more than snowballs. Stavros Agorakis, Vox, "Vox Sentences: The world is a very dangerous place!," 21 Nov. 2018 Winter is around the corner, which means sledding, ice skating, and snowball fights are almost here, too. Megan Friedman, Country Living, "NOAA Predicts Winter Is Going to Be Warmer Than Usual for Most of the United States," 22 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Others fear that the relatively limited price declines seen so far could snowball as more sellers are forced to the market. Philip Georgiadis, WSJ, "London Property Feels Brexit Sting," 1 Jan. 2019 The case has snowballed into an epic embarrassment for the Navy, which has struggled to explain how so many officers on the Blue Ridge succumbed so easily to the prostitutes, extravagant meals and expensive gifts that Francis dangled as temptations. Craig Whitlock, Anchorage Daily News, "Leaks, feasts and sex parties: How ‘Fat Leonard’ infiltrated the Navy’s floating headquarters in Asia," 1 Feb. 2018 The 1960s saw a series of breakthrough geological discoveries that snowballed into mounting evidence against the growing Earth theory. Meg Neal, Popular Mechanics, "We’ve Been Wrong Before: The Expanding Earth Theory," 3 Aug. 2018 Since then, China’s thirst for travel has snowballed. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "How Chinese Tourists Are Changing the Travel Landscape," 2 Nov. 2018 But the good-faith critiques of the bill snowballed into an assertion on the right that Democrats were going to open the borders — and, furthermore, that that was the point. Dara Lind, Vox, "Anatomy of a lie: where Trump’s fictitious “Open Borders Bill” comes from," 8 Oct. 2018 The latest problems snowballed to engulf the Cho family as Korean Air employees accused the family of other alleged wrongdoing. Washington Post, "Korean Air heiress apologizes before police questioning," 1 May 2018 Fast-forward to this season, and things have kind of snowballed. Vogue, "A French Stylist to Supermodels Turns His Hand to Jewelry Design," 23 July 2018 From providing a platform for hate speech and Russian disinformation in the 2016 election, to its handling of users’ data, crisis after crisis have begun to snowball for the social media giant. Amanda Sakuma, Vox, "Facebook reportedly used anti-Semitic attacks to discredit its critics," 15 Nov. 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

12 Mar 2019

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 How to pronounce snowball (audio) \

Kids Definition of snowball

: a round mass of snow pressed or rolled together

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More from Merriam-Webster on snowball

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with snowball

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for snowball

Spanish Central: Translation of snowball

Nglish: Translation of snowball for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about snowball

Comments on snowball

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