The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Ball \Ball\ (b[add]l), n. [OE. bal, balle; akin to OHG. balla,
palla, G. ball, Icel. b["o]llr, ball; cf. F. balle. Cf. 1st
Bale, n., Pallmall.]
1. Any round or roundish body or mass; a sphere or globe; as,
a ball of twine; a ball of snow.
2. A spherical body of any substance or size used to play
with, as by throwing, knocking, kicking, etc.
3. A general name for games in which a ball is thrown,
kicked, or knocked. See Baseball, and Football.
4. 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.
5. (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.
6. (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inking the form, but now superseded by the roller.
7. A roundish protuberant portion of some part of the body;
as, the ball of the thumb; the ball of the foot.
8. (Far.) A large pill, a form in which medicine is commonly
given to horses; a bolus. --White.
9. The globe or earth. --Pope.
Move round the dark terrestrial ball. --Addison.
10. (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.
[Webster 1913 Suppl. +PJC]
10. a testicle; usually used in the plural. [vulgar]
11. pl. courage; nerve. [vulgar]
Ball and socket joint, a joint in which a ball moves within
a socket, so as to admit of motion in every direction
within certain limits.
Ball bearings, a mechanical device for lessening the
friction of axle bearings by means of small loose metal
Ball cartridge, a cartridge containing a ball, as
distinguished from a blank cartridge, containing only
Ball cock, a faucet or valve which is opened or closed by
the fall or rise of a ball floating in water at the end of
Ball gudgeon, a pivot of a spherical form, which permits
lateral deflection of the arbor or shaft, while retaining
the pivot in its socket. --Knight.
Ball lever, the lever used in a ball cock.
Ball of the eye, the eye itself, as distinguished from its
lids and socket; -- formerly, the pupil of the eye.
Ball valve (Mach.), a contrivance by which a ball, placed
in a circular cup with a hole in its bottom, operates as a
Ball vein (Mining), a sort of iron ore, found in loose
masses of a globular form, containing sparkling particles.
Three balls, or Three golden balls, a pawnbroker's sign
on the ball alert; competent and knowledgeable.
to carry the ball to carry on the task; to assume the
to drop the ball to fail to perform as expected; to fail to
live up to a responsibility.
Syn: See Globe.