n. & v.
1 a solid or hollow sphere, esp. for use in a game.
2 a a ball-shaped object; material forming the shape of a ball (ball of snow; ball of wool; rolled himself into a ball). b a rounded part of the body (ball of the foot).
3 a solid non-explosive missile for a cannon etc.
4 a single delivery of a ball in cricket, baseball, etc., or passing of a ball in football.
5 (in pl.) coarse sl. a the testicles. b (usu. as an exclam. of contempt) nonsense, rubbish. c = balls-up. d courage, 'guts'.
Sense 5 is usually considered a taboo use.
1 tr. squeeze or wind into a ball.
2 intr. form or gather into a ball or balls.
Phrases and idioms:
ball-and-socket joint Anat. a joint in which a rounded end lies in a concave cup or socket, allowing freedom of movement. ball-bearing
1 a bearing in which the two halves are separated by a ring of small metal balls which reduce friction.
2 one of these balls.
1 a any game played with a ball. b US a game of baseball.
2 esp. US colloq. a particular affair or concern (a whole new ball game). the ball is in your etc. court you etc. must be next to act. ball lightning a rare globular form of lightning. ball-point (pen) a pen with a tiny ball as its writing point. balls (or ball) up coarse sl. bungle; make a mess of. balls-up n. coarse sl. a mess; a confused or bungled situation. have the ball at one's feet have one's best opportunity. keep the ball rolling maintain the momentum of an activity. on the ball colloq. alert. play ball colloq. cooperate. start etc. the ball rolling set an activity in motion; make a start.
Etymology: ME f. ON boumlllr f. Gmc
1 a formal social gathering for dancing.
2 sl. an enjoyable time (esp. have a ball).
Etymology: F bal f. LL ballare to dance
Useful english dictionary. 2012.