spitball

noun
spit·​ball | \ ˈspit-ˌbȯl How to pronounce spitball (audio) \

Definition of spitball

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

spitball

verb
spitballed; spitballing

Definition of spitball (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive + intransitive

informal
: to propose (ideas, suggestions, etc.) for consideration in an informal, preliminary way Writers spitballed story ideas; editors dreamed up coverage ….— Nick Summers He has his finger on every facet of the concert presentation, using rehearsals to tweak the visuals and spitball new ideas.— Marshall Fine Linklater, Coltrane, and Hawke had started spitballing dialogue a year earlier, though they'd begun anticipating the scene years before that.— Nathan Heller … it's probably a little late for Vance Joseph and his coaching staff to be spitballing on what kind of team they want the Broncos to be.— Mark Kiszla

Examples of spitball in a Sentence

Noun The kids were shooting spitballs at each other.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The inspection, while not involving a cavity search, was the most thorough a Cleveland pitcher has undergone since Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry, the noted spitball pitcher. Paul Hoynes, cleveland, 10 Sep. 2022 The right-hander was one of the final spitball pitchers in baseball history and finished his career with 254 victories. Tommy Birch, USA TODAY, 10 Aug. 2022 Renlund could practice no medicine on the mound, of course, since doctoring a baseball (think spitball) is strictly forbidden. David Noyce, The Salt Lake Tribune, 28 July 2022 Subsequent adjustments included banishing the spitball, adopting a smaller armpit-to-knee strike zone and adding the DH to American League play. David Wharton, Los Angeles Times, 16 May 2022 Aside from Will Byers (Noah Schnapp), she is seen having trouble making new friends — and some of her classmates are seen chucking a spitball her way. Kelly Wynne, PEOPLE.com, 23 Mar. 2022 Aside from Will Byers (Noah Schnapp), she is seen having trouble making new friends — and some of her classmates are seen chucking a spitball her way. Kelly Wynne, PEOPLE.com, 23 Mar. 2022 Aside from Will Byers (Noah Schnapp), she is seen having trouble making new friends — and some of her classmates are seen chucking a spitball her way. Kelly Wynne, PEOPLE.com, 23 Mar. 2022 Aside from Will Byers (Noah Schnapp), she is seen having trouble making new friends — and some of her classmates are seen chucking a spitball her way. Kelly Wynne, PEOPLE.com, 23 Mar. 2022 See More

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

Noun

1846, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1950, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for spitball

Time Traveler

The first known use of spitball was in 1846

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Dictionary Entries Near spitball

spit and vinegar

spitball

spitballer

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Statistics for spitball

Last Updated

13 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Spitball.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spitball. Accessed 2 Oct. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on spitball

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about spitball

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