Pronunciation: (bôl), [key]
1. a spherical or approximately spherical body or shape; sphere: He rolled the piece of paper into a ball.
2. a round or roundish body, of various sizes and materials, either hollow or solid, for use in games, as baseball, football, tennis, or golf.
3. a game played with a ball, esp. baseball: The boys are out playing ball.
4. Baseball.a pitched ball, not swung at by the batter, that does not pass over home plate between the batter's shoulders and knees.
5. Mil.
a. a solid, usually spherical projectile for a cannon, rifle, pistol, etc., as distinguished from a shell.
b. projectiles, esp. bullets, collectively.
6. any part of a thing, esp. of the human body, that is rounded or protuberant: the ball of the thumb.
7. a round mass of food, as of chopped meat, dough, or candy.
8. Slang (vulgar). a testis.
9. balls, Slang (vulgar).
a. boldness; courage; brashness.
b. nonsense (often used as an interjection).
10. bolus (def. 1).
11. Hort.a compact mass of soil covering the roots of an uprooted tree or other plant.
12. Literary.a planetary or celestial body, esp. the earth.
13. Math.(in a metric space) the set of points whose distance from the zero element is less than, or less than or equal to, a specified number.
14. carry the ball, to assume the responsibility; bear the burden: You can always count on him to carry the ball in an emergency.
15. keep the ball rolling, to continue or give renewed vigor to an activity already under way: When their interest lagged, he tried to keep the ball rolling.
16. on the ball,
a. alert and efficient or effective: If you don't get on the ball, you'll be fired.
b. indicating intelligence or ability: The tests show your students don't have much on the ball. The new manager has a lot on the ball.
17. play ball,
a. to begin or continue playing a game.
b. to start or continue any action.
c. to work together; cooperate: union leaders suspected of playing ball with racketeers.
18. run with the ball, to assume responsibility or work enthusiastically: If management approves the concept, we'll run with the ball.
19. start the ball rolling, to put into operation; begin: The recreation director started the ball rolling by having all the participants introduce themselves.

1. to make into a ball (sometimes fol. by up): The children were balling up snow to make a snowman.
2. to wind into balls: to ball cotton.
3. Slang (vulgar). to have sexual intercourse with.

1. to form or gather into a ball: When the spun sugar balls, the candy has cooked sufficiently.
2. Slang (vulgar). to have sexual intercourse.
3. ball the jack, Slang.
a. to act with speed.
b. to stake everything on one attempt.
4. ball up, make or become utterly confused; muddle: The records had been all balled up by inefficient file clerks.


Pronunciation: (bôl), [key]
1. a large, usually lavish, formal party featuring social dancing and sometimes given for a particular purpose, as to introduce debutantes or benefit a charitable organization.
2. Informal.a thoroughly good time: Have a ball on your vacation!


Pronunciation: (bôl), [key]
1. George W(ild•man) Pronunciation: (wīld'mun), [key] born 1909, U.S. lawyer, investment banker, and government official.
2. John, died 1381, English priest: one of the leaders of Wat Tyler's peasants' revolt in 1381.
3. Lucille, 1911–89, U.S. actress.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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