Meaning of BALL in English


/ bɔːl; NAmE / noun , verb

■ noun


a round object used for throwing, hitting or kicking in games and sports :

a golf / tennis / cricket ball

Bounce the ball and try and hit it over the net.

—picture at hockey


a round object or a thing that has been formed into a round shape :

The sun was a huge ball of fire low on the horizon.

a ball of string

Some animals roll themselves into a ball for protection.


a kick, hit or throw of the ball in some sports :

He sent over a high ball.


( in baseball ) a throw by the pitcher that the batter does not have to hit because it is not accurate


ball of the foot / hand the part underneath the big toe or the thumb

—picture at body


[ usually pl. ] ( taboo , informal ) a testicle

—see also balls


a large formal party with dancing


- a ball and chain

- the ball is in your / sb's court

- a ball of fire

- get / set / start / keep the ball rolling

- have a ball

- have something / a lot on the ball

- (be) on the ball

- play ball (with sb)

- the whole ball of wax

—more at carry verb , drop verb , eye noun

■ verb


to form sth or be formed into the shape of a ball :

[ v ]

Her hands balled into fists.

[ vn ]

My hands were balled into fists.


[ vn ] ( NAmE , taboo , slang ) (of a man) to have sex with a woman



noun senses 1 to 6 and verb Middle English : from Old Norse bo̧llr , of Germanic origin.

noun sense 7 early 17th cent.: from French bal a dance, from late Latin ballare to dance; related to Greek ballizein to dance (also ballein to throw).

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.