From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishballball1 /bɔːl $ bɒːl/ ●●● S1 W2 noun 1 round objectTO PLAY WITHDS [countable] a round object that is thrown, kicked, or hit in a game or sportthrow/hit/kick/catch etc a ball Weiskopf hit the ball 330 yards and a cheer went up.a tennis/golf/cricket etc ball2 round shapeROUND SHAPECF [countable] something formed or rolled into a round shape a ball of string Shape the dough into balls.3 game/sport [uncountable] 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.4 → the ball of the foot/hand5 → on the ball6 → set/start/keep the ball rolling7 → the ball is in somebody’s court8 formal occasionDANCEDL [countable] a large formal occasion at which people dance► see thesaurus at party9 → have a ball10 → balls11 → a fast/good/long etc ball12 → no ball13 → no ball14 → the whole ball of wax15 → a ball of fire16 → keep several/too many etc balls in the air17 → drop the ball18 → ball-buster/ball-breaker → cannonball, crystal ball, wrecking ball, → play ball at play1(7)COLLOCATIONSverbsthrow a ballSuzy threw the ball to Matthew.catch a ballHe’s useless at sport; he can’t even catch a ball.hit a ballHe swung the bat back and hit the ball hard.kick a ballGreg kicked the ball upfield to Will.bounce a ballHe was in the yard bouncing a ball against the wall.get the ballThen the Cowboys got the ball again.miss a ball (=not catch or hit it)I was trying hard but I kept missing the ball.a ball rollsThe ball just rolled past the hole.a ball flies/sailsThe ball flew over the goalkeeper’s head and into the net.a ball bouncesIn tennis, the ball must only bounce once.a ball rebounds (=hits something and moves back and away from it again)The ball hit the goalpost and rebounded.ADJECTIVES/NOUN + balla tennis/cricket/golf/rugby etc ballShe was practising hitting golf balls.a ping-pong/billiard/snooker etc ballHe was bouncing around like a ping-pong ball.a beach ball (=a large light ball used on the beach)Dad, will you blow up the beach ball?ball + NOUNa ball gameHe’s always watching ball games on TV.ball skillsPractising ball skills helps a child’s coordination.
Examples from the Corpusball• She wants it for a ball, this poor unbalanced girl.• It was the first time I'd ever been invited to a ball.• Alomar said it was a ball.• The kitten was playing with a ball of yarn.• Comets are balls of ice and dirt that circle the sun.• a big beach ball• Shape the cookie dough into balls and put them in the refrigerator.• But suddenly the sight of Giuseppe Signori's invitingly lofted ball into the penalty area put a spring in his step.• Mommy, where's my ball?• The University holds a summer ball at the end of June.• Instead of bowling the ball, which bore a small silver shield, Mr Cottle threw it at a low-flying swan.• The 49ers had the ball on the Bengals' 6-yard line, first-and-goal, down by a touchdown.• Lukic must have seen the ball extremely late but still managed to get down well.• Then she travels with the ball.• When hedgehogs are in danger, they curl their bodies into tight balls.• The mallet whacked into the wooden ball, and the women laughed as the men groaned.throw/hit/kick/catch etc a ball• He can hit a thrown ball with a stick of wood.• Children were playing and throwing a ball for each other to catch.• You can also invent little games, such as kicking a ball in a bucket or bowl of water.• After a few laps of the track we could kick a ball about or even have a go at throwing a javelin.• It is a little like throwing a ball out of a moving train.• Take the act of throwing a ball.• They remind you of a bunch of schoolboys wandering down a lonely road, kicking a ball along.• Folk who think you need to hit a ball with a stick to earn a drink.play ball• It was a timeless scene: a brick house, a mown meadow, a man and his boy playing ball.• The editor would have doubled it, if you'd played ball with me.• She played ball, she had difficulty with spelling, and she wanted to be a doctor when she grew up.• He has no one to play ball with and tosses his ball against the wall in a most despondent fashion.• There is a simple, inexpensive solution for those who refuse to play ball with the system.• Their loan officer refuses to play ball, so we have to get a loan from a different bank.• It seemed clear to us that we would always have the time to play ball and get better as we went along.• You kids should go outside if you want to play ball.• When they break a window playing ball or lose something that belongs to a friend, they should make amends.ballball2 verb [transitive] 1 (also ball up)CF to make something form a small round shape Ray balled up his fists.2 American English informal not polite to have sex with a woman→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusball• In that time Dean is balling Marylou at the hotel and gives me time to change and dress.Origin ball1 1. (1200-1300) Old Norse böllr2. (1600-1700) French bal, from Old French baller “to dance”, from Late Latin ballare, from Greek ballizein