Definition of southpaw
: left-hander; especially : a left-handed baseball pitcher
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Recent Examples of southpaw from the Web
This time, the southpaw Stevenson came out firing lefts from the start.
Opponents batted .109 for the year against the crafty southpaw whose fastball has surpassed 90 miles per hour.
The Indians chased Royals starter Danny Duffy in the fifth, after the southpaw surrendered three straight singles.
More significant, Bour has hit four of his past six off left-handers after hitting none in the first 124 plate appearances of his career against southpaws.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'southpaw'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Southpaw is of obscure origin. A popular theory holds that it comes from the onetime position of ballparks in relation to the sun. Supposedly, late 19th-century ballparks were laid out so that the pitcher looked in a westerly direction when facing the batter. The throwing arm of a left-handed pitcher would then be to the south-hence the name southpaw. This theory of its origin is undermined, however, by the fact that the original use of southpaw does not involve baseball at all. Rather, the term was used as early as 1848 to describe, simply, the left hand or a punch or blow given with the left hand. Today, we often use southpaw as a good-natured term for a left-handed person, but the word is sometimes viewed as stigmatizing by left-handed people.
First Known Use of southpaw
SOUTHPAW Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of southpaw for English Language Learners
: someone who is left-handed; especially : a left-handed baseball pitcher or boxer
SOUTHPAW Defined for Kids
Definition of southpaw for Students
: a person (as a baseball pitcher) who is left-handed
Seen and Heard
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