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ball 1 (bôl)
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n.
1.
a. A spherical object or entity: a steel ball.
b. A spherical or almost spherical body: a ball of flame.
2. Sports
a. Any of various movable and round or oblong objects used in various athletic activities and games.
b. Such an object moving, thrown, hit, or kicked in a particular manner: a low ball; a fair ball.
c. A game, especially baseball or basketball, played with such an object.
d. A pitched baseball that does not pass through the strike zone and is not swung at by the batter.
3.
a. A solid spherical or pointed projectile, such as one shot from a cannon.
b. Projectiles of this kind considered as a group.
4. A rounded part or protuberance, especially of the body: the ball of the foot.
5. Vulgar Slang
a. A testicle.
b. balls Courage, especially when reckless.
c. balls Great presumptuousness.
v. balled, ball·ing, balls
v.tr.
1. To form into a ball.
2. Vulgar Slang To have sexual intercourse with.
v.intr.
1. To become formed into a ball.
2. Vulgar Slang To have sexual intercourse.
Phrasal Verb:
ball up
To confuse; bungle.
Idioms:
have (someone) by the balls Vulgar Slang
To have control over someone; have someone at one's mercy.
on the ball Informal
1. Alert, competent, or efficient: a teacher who is really on the ball.
2. Relating to qualities, such as competence, skill, or knowledge, that are necessary for success: a manager who has a lot on the ball; a student who has nothing on the ball.

[Middle English bal, probably from Old English *beall; see bhel-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
ball 2 (bôl)
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n.
1. A formal gathering for social dancing.
2. Informal An extremely enjoyable time or experience: We had a ball during our vacation.

[French bal, from Old French, from baller, to dance, from Late Latin ballāre, from Greek ballizein; see gwelə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
Ball, Lucille Désirée 1911-1989.
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American actress best known as the star of the popular situation comedy I Love Lucy (1951-1957).
(click for a larger image)
Lucille Ball

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
Ball (bôl), John Known as "the Mad Priest." Died 1381.
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English cleric and social agitator who was executed for his role in the Peasants' Revolt (1381).

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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