Meaning of BALL in English


I. ˈbȯl noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English bal, from Old Norse böllr akin to Old English bealluc testis, Old High German balla ball, Old English bula bull — more at bull

1. : a round or roundish body or mass: as

a. : a spherical or ovoid body of any kind for throwing, hitting, or kicking in games or sports

the baseball player knocked the ball down the third-base line

kick the ball over the goalposts

b. : a celestial body : earth , globe

c. : any of various spherical, rounded, or conical missiles or projectiles (as for a catapult, cannon, or firearm) ; also : projectiles used in firearms : bullets

powder and ball

d. : a roundish protuberant part of the body: as

(1) : the rounded eminence by which the base of the thumb is continuous with the palm of the hand

(2) : the rounded broad part of the sole of the human foot between toes and arch and on which the main weight of the body first rests in normal walking ; also : the corresponding part of a shoe or of a last

(3) : the padded rounded underside of a human finger or toe near the tip

e. : eyeball

f. : a ball-shaped dabber made usually of pelt stuffed with wool and fastened to a handle and formerly used by printers for inking a form

g. : a mandrel upon which steel piping is welded by concave rolls

h. : ball bearing

i. : testis — usually considered vulgar

j. : a spherical architectural ornament often hollow and of considerable size crowning a cupola or dome

k. : a small globose fruit or seed pod : seed ball

l. : the compact mass of earth and roots often tightly bound (as with burlap) and moved with a transplanted tree, shrub, or herbaceous plant

m. : a solidified mass of iron in the manufacture of wrought iron intimately mixed with siliceous slag and being the result of puddling or of pouring molten refined iron into slag

n. : a large pill (as one used in veterinary medicine) : bolus


(1) : a ball-shaped mass (as of candy, pastry, vegetable, minced fish, or meat)

(2) : a small rounded mass ranging in consistency from soft to hard and formed when sugar is boiled to a certain temperature and then quickly chilled

2. : a game in which a ball is thrown, kicked, or struck ; especially : baseball

play ball for two hours


a. : the delivery of the ball (as in baseball)

a fast ball

a curve ball

b. : a pitched baseball not struck at by the batter that fails to pass through the strike zone

a count of three balls and two strikes

c. cricket : a fair delivery of the ball by bowling — opposed to no ball ; compare wide

4. slang : fellow , character

this narrator … is an odd ball indeed — Hollis Alpert

5. balls plural

[from plural of ball (testis)]

: nonsense — often used interjectionally to express disapproval or annoyance; often considered vulgar

6. : main authority over or direction of an enterprise or activity : responsibility

to take the ball away from the incompetent director and give it to a new man

- get the ball rolling

- keep the ball rolling

- on the ball

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

transitive verb

1. : to form into a ball: as

a. : to squeeze into a more or less compact mass

balling each sheet of paper into a wad before throwing it away

— often used with up

b. : to wind up (as string) upon itself

c. : to form (as molten iron) into balls in the manufacture of wrought iron

d. : to cluster densely about (the queen bee) — used of bees

2. : to clog (the hoof of an animal) with balls

the pony's hoofs got badly balled in the mud

3. : to compact a ball of earth about (a tree, shrub, or herbaceous plant or its roots) for storing or transporting

4. : to give a medicinal ball to (as a horse)

intransitive verb

: to form, gather, collect, or pack into a ball or balls

the stallion's right forefoot balled with snow and sand — W.V.T.Clark

the boiled sugar balled when dropped into cold water

smaller shotgun pellets liable to ball in the barrel

— often used with up

danger of the stuff balling up, i. e. the fibers clot up into small inseparable balls of fiber — F.H.Norris

- ball the jack

III. noun

( -s )

Etymology: French bal, from Old French, from baller to dance, from Late Latin ballare, from Greek ballizein; akin to Sanskrit balbalīti he whirls

1. : a large formal gathering for social dancing

2. : a good time : picnic

a fairly monstrous cowboy actor in from the Coast for a ball — Gilbert Millstein

it's a ball for a while, but it's no life to lead — David Hulburd

IV. noun

balls plural : nerve 3b c — often considered vulgar

don't have enough balls to try out their new material in front of a real audience — East Village Other

V. verb

Etymology: ball (I) (testis)

transitive verb

: to have sexual intercourse with — usually considered vulgar

intransitive verb

: to have sexual intercourse — usually considered vulgar

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.