• WordNet 3.6
    • v ball form into a ball by winding or rolling "ball wool"
    • n ball a pitch that is not in the strike zone "he threw nine straight balls before the manager yanked him"
    • n ball the game of baseball
    • n ball round object that is hit or thrown or kicked in games "the ball travelled 90 mph on his serve","the mayor threw out the first ball","the ball rolled into the corner pocket"
    • n ball a spherical object used as a plaything "he played with his rubber ball in the bathtub"
    • n ball a solid projectile that is shot by a musket "they had to carry a ramrod as well as powder and ball"
    • n ball one of the two male reproductive glands that produce spermatozoa and secrete androgens "she kicked him in the balls and got away"
    • n ball a more or less rounded anatomical body or mass "the ball at the base of the thumb","he stood on the balls of his feet"
    • n ball a lavish dance requiring formal attire
    • n ball a compact mass "a ball of mud caught him on the shoulder"
    • n ball the people assembled at a lavish formal dance "the ball was already emptying out before the fire alarm sounded"
    • n Ball United States comedienne best known as the star of a popular television program (1911-1989)
    • n ball an object with a spherical shape "a ball of fire"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

The "Elevated Den" in the Ball Room The "Elevated Den" in the Ball Room
Greek Girls Playing at Ball Greek Girls Playing at Ball
Snapping the ball with Lewis Snapping the ball with Lewis
The witch speaks to Ball-Carrier, who is lying on a platform The witch speaks to Ball-Carrier, who is lying on a platform
Measuring the ball of the foot Measuring the ball of the foot
Lasting the inside ball Lasting the inside ball

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: There are three golf balls sitting on the moon
    • Ball (Pyrotechnics & Mil) A flaming, roundish body shot into the air; a case filled with combustibles intended to burst and give light or set fire, or to produce smoke or stench; as, a fire ball; a stink ball .
    • Ball A general name for games in which a ball is thrown, kicked, or knocked. See Baseball, and Football.
    • Ball (Far) A large pill, a form in which medicine is commonly given to horses; a bolus.
    • Ball (Print) A leather-covered cushion, fastened to a handle called a ballstock; -- formerly used by printers for inking the form, but now superseded by the roller.
    • Ball (Baseball) A pitched ball, not struck at by the batter, which fails to pass over the home plate at a height not greater than the batter's shoulder nor less than his knee (i.e. it is outside the strike zone). If the pitcher pitches four balls before three strikes are called, the batter advances to first base, and the action of pitching four balls is called a walk.
    • Ball A roundish protuberant portion of some part of the body; as, the ball of the thumb; the ball of the foot.
    • Ball A social assembly for the purpose of dancing; -- usually applied to an occasion lavish or formal.
    • Ball A spherical body of any substance or size used to play with, as by throwing, knocking, kicking, etc.
    • Ball a testicle; usually used in the plural.
    • Ball A very enjoyable time; as, we had a ball at the wedding.
    • Ball Any round or roundish body or mass; a sphere or globe; as, a ball of twine; a ball of snow.
    • Ball Any solid spherical, cylindrical, or conical projectile of lead or iron, to be discharged from a firearm; as, a cannon ball; a rifle ball ; -- often used collectively; as, powder and ball . Spherical balls for the smaller firearms are commonly called bullets.
    • Ball courage; nerve.
    • Ball The globe or earth. "Move round the dark terrestrial ball ."
    • Ball To form or wind into a ball; as, to ball cotton.
    • v. i Ball To gather balls which cling to the feet, as of damp snow or clay; to gather into balls; as, the horse balls; the snow balls .
    • Ball (Metal) To heat in a furnace and form into balls for rolling.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Initially golf balls were made out of wood. After that they were made out of leather which was stuffed with feathers
    • n ball A spherical or approximately spherical body; a sphere; a globe: as, a ball of snow, of thread, of twine, etc. Specifically
    • n ball A round or nearly round body, of different materials and sizes, for use in various games, as base-ball, foot-ball, cricket, tennis, billiards, etc.
    • n ball A game played with a ball, especially base-ball or any modification of it.
    • n ball A toss or throw of a ball in a game: as, a swift ball; a high or low ball.
    • n ball In base-ball, a pitch such that the ball fails to pass over the home-plate not higher than the shoulder nor lower than the knees of the striker: as, the pitcher is allowed five balls by the rules of the game.
    • n ball A small spherical body of wood or ivory used in voting by ballot. See ballot and blackball.
    • n ball The missile or projectile thrown from a firearm or other engine of war; a bullet or cannon-ball, whether spherical (as originally) or conical or cylindrical (as now commonly); in artillery, a solid projectile, as distinguished from a hollow one called a shell (which see).
    • n ball Projectiles, and more particularly bullets, collectively: as, to supply a regiment with powder and ball; the troops were ordered to load with ball.
    • n ball In printing, a rounded mass or cushion of hair or wool, covered with soft leather or skin, and fastened to a stock called a ball-stock, used (generally in pairs, one for each hand) before the invention of the roller to ink type on the press: still in use by wood-engravers, but made of smaller size, and with a silk instead of a leather face. A similar ball is used in inking the blocks in calico-printing. That used by engravers in spreading an etching-ground is called a dabber.
    • n ball A clew or cop of thread, twine, or yarn.—
    • n ball A spherical piece of soap.
    • n ball A rounded package; a bale.
    • n ball In metallurgy, one of the masses of iron, weighing about 80 pounds, into which, in the process of converting pig-iron into wrought-iron by puddling, the iron in the reverberatory furnace is made up as soon as it begins to assume a pasty condition. As fast as the iron is balled it is taken out of the furnace, and is first hammered or squeezed, and then rolled into bars of any desired form.
    • n ball In medicine, a bolus; a large pill: now only in veterinary medicine.
    • n ball In pyrotechnics, a globular mass of combustible ingredients, or a case filled with them, designed to set fire to something or to give forth light, etc.; a fireball.
    • n ball In cabinet-work, the composition of shoemakers' wax used in waxing black-work.
    • n ball Any part of a thing, especially of the human body, that is rounded or protuberant: as, the ball of the eye; the ball of the thumb; the ball of a dumb-bell; the ball of a pendulum, that is, the bob or weight at the bottom.
    • n ball The central hollow of the palm of the hand.
    • n ball The central part of an animal's foot.
    • n ball A testicle: generally in the plural.
    • n ball A hand-tool with a rounded end arranged for cutting hollow forms.
    • n ball A round valve in an inclosed chamber, operated by the flow of the liquid through the chamber; a ball-valve.
    • n ball In lapidary-work, a small spherical grinder of lead used in hollowing out the under side of certain stones, as carbuncles, to make them thinner and thus more transparent.
    • n ball The globe; the earth.
    • n ball [A globe representing the earth is a common symbol of sovereignty; hence Bacon has the phrase to hold the ball of a kingdom, in the sense of to bear sovereignty over it.]
    • ball To make into a ball. Specifically— In the manufacture of cotton, to wind into balls.
    • ball To surround in a compact cluster, as bees when they surround the queen bee.
    • ball To form or gather into a ball, as snow on horses' hoofs, or mud on the feet.
    • ball To remain in a solid mass instead of scattering: said of shot discharged from a gun.
    • ball To fail; miscarry.
    • n ball A dance; dancing.
    • n ball A social assembly of persons of both sexes for the purpose of dancing.
    • ball To take part in a ball; dance.
    • n ball A white streak or spot.
    • n ball A horse or nag (originally, white-faced): used appellatively, like dun, bayard.
    • ball An obsolete form of bawl.
    • n ball An obsolete form of bal.
    • n ball In the manufacture of soda by the Leblanc process, the batch of pasty material produced by heating together sodium sulphate or salt-cake, calcium carbonate (limestone or chalk), and coal as discharged from the furnace.
    • n ball In architecture, a spherical ornament. Specifically — A sphere cut out of stone and serving as the crowning feature of a gate-post or the like.
    • n ball plural Iron ore occurring in balls or nodules. Also ball-ironstone.
    • n ball A belt of sand a short distance offshore on which waves break in rough weather.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The reason why golf balls have dimples on them is because it helps in the ball to move a farther distance by reducing drag
    • n Ball bawl anything round: any celestial body, esp. the 'globe:' the golden orb borne with the sceptre as the emblem of sovereignty: a globular body to play with in tennis, football, golf, billiards, &c.: any rounded protuberant part of the body: a bullet, or any missile thrown from an engine of war: a rounded mass of anything: a throw or delivery of the ball at cricket: a well-known game played with a ball
    • v.i Ball to gather itself into a ball, become clogged
    • n Ball bawl an entertainment of dancing
    • ***


  • Yogi Berra
    “If people don't want to come out to the ball park, nobody's going to stop them.”
  • Yogi Berra
    “If the fans don't come out to the ball park, you can't stop them .”
  • Joe Dimaggio
    Joe Dimaggio
    “A ball player has got to be kept hungry be become a big leaguer. That is why no boy from a rich family ever made the big leagues.”
  • Joe Garagiola
    Joe Garagiola
    “Nolan Ryan is pitching much better now that he has his curve ball straightened out.”
  • Tommy Henrich
    Tommy Henrich
    “Catching a fly ball is a pleasure, but knowing what to do with it is a business.”
  • Pete Rose
    Pete Rose
    “See the ball; hit the ball.”


A lost ball in the high weeds - A lost ball in the high weeds is someone who does not know what they are doing, where they are or how to do something.
Ball is in your court - If the ball is in your court, it is up to you to make the next decision or step.
Balls to the walls - (USA) If you do something balls to the wall, you apply full acceleration or exertion.
Behind the eight ball - A difficult position from which it is unlikely one can escape.
Curve ball - (USA) If something is a curve ball, it is deceptive.
Drop the ball - If someone drops the ball, they are not doing their job or taking their responsibilities seriously enough and let something go wrong.
Get the ball rolling - If you get the ball rolling, you start something so that it can start making progress.
Have a ball - If you have a ball, you have a great time, a lot of fun.
Keep your eye on the ball - If you keep your eye on the ball, you stay alert and pay close attention to what is happening.
On the ball - If someone's on the ball, they are well-informed and know what's going on in their area of responsibility or interest.
Play ball - If you play ball, you agree to do what someone asks you to do, or to agree to work with someone in order to achieve something together (often negative)
Take your eye off the ball - If someone takes their eye off the ball, they don't concentrate on something important that they should be looking at.
The ball's in your court - If somebody says this to you, they mean that it's up to you to decide or take the next step.
Whole ball of wax - (USA) The whole ball of wax is everything.
Whole new ball game - If something's a whole new ball game, it is completely new or different.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. bal, fr. OF. baler, to dance, fr. LL. ballare,. Of uncertain origin; cf. Gr. ba`llein to toss or throw, or pa`llein pa`llesqai, to leap, bound, balli`zein to dance, jump about; or cf. 1st Ball (n.)
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. bal, baller, to dance—Low L. ballare, referred by some to Gr. ballizein.


In literature:

The earliest social function which I remember is a ball given by my father and mother when I must have been about four years of age.
"Reminiscences, 1819-1899" by Julia Ward Howe
If a less number of persons play, eight balls may still be used, one or more of the players playing two balls.
"Croquet" by Anonymous
There is always something in being the partner of the belle of a ball-room.
"Jack Hinton The Guardsman" by Charles James Lever
Ashminster remained on their line and Armstrong, the Elfrey scrum-half, was bringing out the ball.
"Years of Plenty" by Ivor Brown
Tallied for an interesting game of base ball.
"An Artilleryman's Diary" by Jenkin Lloyd Jones
I'm going on to Kitty Illingham's ball.
"Shadows of Flames" by Amelie Rives
Garnish with rice balls made as follows: Steam one cupful of rice until tender.
"Civic League Cook Book" by Anonymous
And the idea of stopping balls on her shins amidst the mud and scrimmage of the hockey field rather appalled her.
"Just Gerry" by Christine Chaundler
I got one ball and one strike on him and then delivered a ball that was aimed to be a low curve over the outside corner.
"Pitching in a Pinch" by Christy Mathewson
No matter where he shot the ball nor how hard he sent it, Roy's hands gripped themselves about it.
"The Crimson Sweater" by Ralph Henry Barbour

In poetry:

It clutched my throat, I coughed;
Nothing was in my head
Except two heavy eyes
Like balls of burning lead.
"The Fog" by William H Davies
Powder and ball and blunder-buss
To save me if he can,
And eke five guineas if he shoot
A resurrection man.
"The Surgeon's Warning" by Robert Southey
Her empty bed, her idle ball,
Will never see her more;
No gentle tap, no loving purr
Is heard at the parlor door.
"A Lament For S. B. Pat Paw" by Louisa May Alcott
Vermilion Ball that's given
From lip to lip in Heaven ;
Love's Couches cover-led :
Haste, haste, to make her bed.
"The Rose" by Richard Lovelace
The laden waggon tinkles by,
The post is going out,
The lights are lit, the coaches ply
To tavern, ball, and rout.
"A Town" by Jane Taylor
Singer, be sad and upset,
Love, and remember, and call,
Catch, from a dark planet sent,
Light and magnificent ball.
""I often shiver with cold"" by Osip Emilevich Mandelstam

In news:

In the case of the Native American claims, it was Warren herself who ill-advisedly got that ball rolling years ago, only to see it blown up like a Fenway Park bleacher ball by academic administrators.
Beamer ball vs Rutgers ball, perhaps.
After fumbling the ball only twice all season, Redskins running back Alfred Morris has now coughed up the ball in back-to-back games.
Thomas burned Alto 's defense for a 70-yard touchdown on Mart's second play of its second drive, and Sturns coughed up the ball on the first play to give Mart the ball back on Alto 's 33.
Four balls are in play at any one time - a white volleyball called a "Quaffle" and three red dodge balls, or "Bludgers.".
The first time Adam Greenberg got to the plate in a Major League Baseball game he didn't get a chance to hit the ball before the ball hit him.
Pittsburgh has turned the ball over 25 times this season while taking the ball away 12 times.
Tubbs says he believes the ball belongs in the Baseball Hall of Fame -- and that people who were sitting around him have offered to sign affidavits, verifying the ball 's authenticity.
To serve, place large cheese ball on platter and top with the small ball , like a snowman figure.
Shape in a ball or several small balls for gift giving.
Beamer ball vs Rutgers ball , perhaps.
You could interpret it as a 50-50 split between running the ball and passing the ball.
There also are several lots of true billiard balls, as well as other lots of snooker and bumper pool balls.
Winner was the guy who knocked in all their billiard balls plus the 8 ball.
"Ball aluminum cans offer brand -building features, larger branding real estate and all the sustainability advantages of the can," says Rob Miles, senior vice president, sales for Ball's metal beverage packaging division, Americas.

In science:

The density of zeros in a unit ball B1 (z0) around z0 then grows like N m , so we rescale the zeros in the 1/√N ball B1/√N (z0 ) by a factor of √N to get configurations of zeros with a constant density as N → ∞.
Universality and scaling of zeros on symplectic manifolds
For convenience let g = γm be the number of green balls, r = (1 − γ )m be the number of red balls, and b = βm be the number of balls selected.
On the critical exponents of random k-SAT
Since there is no infinite cluster, given any ball B about o and any ǫ > 0, there is a ball B ′ so that with probability at least 1 − ǫ, there is a unique maximal set K ⊂ B ′ such that all of ∂E K is closed and B ⊂ K .
Explicit isoperimetric constants and phase transitions in the random-cluster model
For small radii, the balls barely overlap and mµ corresponds to the Minkowski functional of an isolated ball.
Morphology of the large-scale structure
It plays with node degrees and nodes as it would play with balls and boxes in the balls-in-boxes model with occupation weights pn .
Statistical ensemble of scale-free random graphs