Sense: 1-7, 10-17
|Origin:||bal, from Old French baller 'to dance', from Late Latin ballare, from Greek ballizein|
a round object that is thrown, kicked, or hit in a game or sport
round objectDS [countable]
throw/hit/kick/catch etc a ball
Weiskopf hit the ball 330 yards and a cheer went up.
something formed or rolled into a round shape:
round shapeCF [countable]
a ball of string
Shape the dough into balls.
any game or sport played with a ball, especially baseball or basketball:
D'you want to go out and play ball?
Dad likes college ball.
the rounded part of the foot at the base of the toes, or the rounded part of the hand at the base of the thumb
able to think or act quickly and intelligently:
an assistant who's really on the ball
to start something happening:
To start the ball rolling, the government was asked to contribute £1 million.
it is their turn to take action or to reply:
I've emailed him - now the ball's in his court.
a large formal occasion at which people dance
formal occasionDL [countable]
to have a very good time
10 [plural] informal not polite
• I didn't have the balls to ask.
c) British English spoken
something that is stupid or wrong [= nonsense]: ➔ balls1
• That's a load of balls!
a ball that is thrown, hit, or kicked fast etc in a game or sport:
He hit a long ball to right field.
a ball that is thrown too high, low etc towards someone trying to hit it, in the games of cricket or rounders
a ball that the hitter does not try to hit, because it is not within the correct area
14 American English informal
the whole thing [= everything]
someone who has a lot of energy and enthusiasm
a problem that is very difficult to deal with
an offensive word for a woman who uses her authority over men
to struggle to deal with more than one problem or job at the same time:
The company just won't be able to keep that many balls in the air.