Definition of spitball
1 : paper chewed and rolled into a ball to be thrown or shot as a missile
2 : a baseball pitch delivered after the ball has been moistened with saliva or sweat
Examples of spitball in a Sentence
The kids were shooting spitballs at each other.
Recent Examples of spitball from the Web
The spitball also was outlawed in 1920, ending an era when pitchers were allowed to load up a ball with saliva produced naturally, or with help from chewing gum or slippery elm (a lozenge taken for coughs and colds) to make their pitches move.
There was Clarence Mitchell, a spitball pitcher best known for being the only player in World Series history to hit into an unassisted triple play (Brooklyn Robins vs. Cleveland Indians, 1920).
The class clowns who merrily threw spitballs at New York’s artistic landscape three decades ago are now, in more ways than one, seniors.
But any artificial language will always be beset by spitballs and suggested modifications: the planet Earth is too big to establish voluntary standards with any ease.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spitball.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
First Known Use of spitball
SPITBALL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of spitball for English Language Learners
: a small piece of paper that is chewed and rolled into a ball so that it can be thrown or shot at someone
baseball : an illegal pitch in which the ball is made wet with saliva or sweat
Seen and Heard
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