1. A mass of soft, wet snow packed into a ball that can be thrown, as in play.
2. Any of several plants having rounded clusters of white flowers, especially certain cultivated viburnums.
3. Chiefly Southern US A snow cone.
v. snow·balled, snow·ball·ing, snow·balls
1. To grow rapidly in significance, importance, or size: problems that snowballed by the hour.
2. To throw snowballs.
1. To cause to grow or increase rapidly.
2. To throw snowballs at.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.