Usage: often attributive
Etymology: Middle English bal, probably from Old English *beall; akin to Old English bealluc testis, Old High German balla ball, Old Norse bǫllr, Old English blāwan to blow — more at blow
Date: 13th century
1. a round or roundish body or mass: as
a. a spherical or ovoid body used in a game or sport <a tennis ball> — used figuratively in phrases like the ball is in your court to indicate who has the responsibility or opportunity for further action b. earth, globe c. a spherical or conical projectile; also projectiles used in firearms d. a roundish protuberant anatomical structure (as near the tip of a human finger or toe or at the base of a thumb); especially the part of the sole of the human foot between the toes and arch on which the main weight of the body rests in normal walking 2. a. often vulgar testis b. plural (1) often vulgar nonsense — often used interjectionally (2) often vulgar nerve 3 3. a game in which a ball is thrown, kicked, or struck; also quality of play in such a game 4. a. a pitch not swung at by the batter that fails to pass through the strike zone b. a hit or thrown ball in various games <foul ball> II. verb Date: 1658 transitive verb 1. to form or gather into a ball <balled the paper into a wad> 2. usually vulgar to have sexual intercourse with intransitive verb 1. to form or gather into a ball 2. usually vulgar to engage in sexual intercourse III. noun Etymology: French bal, from Old French, from baller to dance, from Late Latin ballare, from Greek ballizein Date: circa 1639 1. a large formal gathering for social dancing 2. a very pleasant experience ; a good time <everyone had a ball at the wedding>
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.