ball

See also: bal, Ball, bál, bål, and Bäll

English[edit]

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Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English bal, ball, balle, from Old English *beall, *bealla (round object, ball) or Old Norse bǫllr (a ball), both from Proto-Germanic *balluz, *ballô (ball), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰoln- (bubble), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰel- (to blow, inflate, swell). Cognate with Old Saxon ball, Dutch bal, Old High German bal, ballo (German Ball (ball); Ballen (bale)). Related forms in Romance are borrowings from Germanic. See also balloon, bale.

A basketball

Noun[edit]

ball (countable and uncountable, plural balls)

  1. A solid or hollow sphere, or roughly spherical mass.
    a ball of spittle; a fecal ball
    1. A quantity of string, thread, etc., wound into a spherical shape.
      a ball of wool; a ball of twine
  2. (mathematics) Homologue or analogue of a disk in the Euclidean plane.
    1. (mathematics) In 3-dimensional Euclidean space, the volume bounded by a sphere.
    2. (mathematics) The set of points in a metric space of any number of dimensions lying within a given distance (the radius) of a given point.
    3. (mathematics) The set of points in a topological space lying within some open set containing a given point.
  3. (ballistics, firearms) A solid, spherical nonexplosive missile for a cannon, rifle, gun, etc.
    1. A jacketed non-expanding bullet, typically of military origin.
    2. (uncountable, obsolete) Such bullets collectively.
  4. A roundish, protuberant portion of some part of the body.
    the ball of the thumb
    1. (anatomy) The front of the bottom of the foot, just behind the toes.
  5. The globe; the earthly sphere.
  6. (sports, countable) An object that is the focus of many sports and games, in which it may be thrown, caught, kicked, bounced, rolled, chased, retrieved, hit with an instrument, spun, etc., usually roughly spherical but whose size, weight, bounciness, colour, etc. differ according to the game
    • 1922, Michael Arlen, “3/19/2”, in “Piracy”: A Romantic Chronicle of These Days:
      Ivor had acquired more than a mile of fishing rights with the house; he was not at all a good fisherman, but one must do something; one generally, however, banged a ball with a squash-racket against a wall.
    • 2011 October 2, Aled Williams, “Swansea 2-0 Stoke”, in BBC Sport Wales:
      Graham secured victory with five minutes left, coolly lifting the ball over Asmir Begovic.
    1. (uncountable) Any sport or game involving a ball; its play, literally or figuratively.
      The children were playing ball on the beach.
      George played his college ball at Stanford.
    2. (baseball, countable) A pitch that falls outside of the strike zone.
    3. (pinball, countable) An opportunity to launch the pinball into play.
      If you get to a million points, you get another ball.
    4. (cricket, countable) A single delivery by the bowler, six of which make up an over.
    5. (soccer, countable) A pass; a kick of the football towards a teammate.
      • 2010 December 29, Chris Whyatt, “Chelsea 1-0 Bolton”, in BBC:
        After Essien's poor attempt flew into the stands, Rodrigo Moreno—Bolton's on-loan winger from Benfica who was making his full Premier League debut—nearly exposed the Blues with a lovely ball for Johan Elmander, but it just skipped away from his team-mate's toes.
  7. (mildly vulgar, slang, usually in the plural) A testicle.
    1. (in the plural) Nonsense.
      That’s a load of balls, and you know it!
    2. (in the plural) Courage.
      I doubt he’s got the balls to tell you off.
  8. (printing, historical) A leather-covered cushion, fastened to a handle called a ballstock; formerly used by printers for inking the form, then superseded by the roller.
  9. (farriery, historical) A large pill, a form in which medicine was given to horses; a bolus.
    • 1842, James White, A compendium of the veterinary art
      The laxative alterative has not this advantage, the aloes, of which it is composed, being extremely bitter, and therefore requiring to be given in the form of a ball.
Synonyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]

(testicle):

Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Verb[edit]

ball (third-person singular simple present balls, present participle balling, simple past and past participle balled)

  1. (transitive) To form or wind into a ball.
    Synonyms: roll up, wad
    to ball cotton
  2. (metalworking) To heat in a furnace and form into balls for rolling.
  3. (transitive, vulgar) To have sexual intercourse with.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:copulate with
    • 1968, Joan Didion, “Slouching Towards Bethlehem”, in Slouching Towards Bethlehem:
      Max says it works both ways. “I mean if she comes in and tells me she wants to ball Don, maybe, I say ‘O.K., baby, it's your trip.’”
  4. (transitive, intransitive) To gather balls which cling to the feet, as of damp snow or clay; to gather into balls.
    the horse balls
    the snow balls
  5. (slang, usually in present participle) To be hip or cool.
  6. (nonstandard, slang) To play basketball.
  7. (transitive) To punish by affixing a ball and chain.
    • 1865, Camp Sumpter, Andersonville National Historic Site, Rules and Regulations of the Prison
      any man refusing to do police duty will be punished by the sergts by balling him the rest of the day.
Translations[edit]

Interjection[edit]

ball

  1. (Australian rules football) An appeal by the crowd for holding the ball against a tackled player. This is heard almost any time an opposition player is tackled, without regard to whether the rules about "prior opportunity" to dispose of the ball are fulfilled.
    • 2007, “Laws Of The Afl 2007”, in AFL Sydney Swans Rules Zone[3], archived from the original on March 22, 2008:
      A good tackle (and some bad ones) will bring a cry of "Ball!" from the crowd – a plea for a holding the ball free kick.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle French bal, from Middle French baler (to dance), from Old French baller, from Late Latin ballō (to dance).

Noun[edit]

ball (plural balls)

  1. A formal dance.
  2. (informal) A very enjoyable time.
    Synonyms: blast, whale of a time
    I had a ball at that concert.
  3. A competitive event among young African-American and Latin American LGBTQ+ people in which prizes are awarded for drag and similar performances. See ball culture.
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Catalan[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From French bal (a dance)

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

ball m (plural balls)

  1. dance
  2. ball, formal dance

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


Crimean Tatar[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from French balle (ball).

Noun[edit]

ball

  1. estimation, score

Declension[edit]

References[edit]

  • Mirjejev, V. A.; Usejinov, S. M. (2002) Ukrajinsʹko-krymsʹkotatarsʹkyj slovnyk [Ukrainian – Crimean Tatar Dictionary]‎[4], Simferopol: Dolya, →ISBN

East Central German[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Compare German bald.

Adverb[edit]

ball

  1. (Erzgebirgisch) soon
    zi ball gieh
    [to] go too soon

Further reading[edit]

  • 2020 June 11, Hendrik Heidler, Hendrik Heidler's 400 Seiten: Echtes Erzgebirgisch: Wuu de Hasen Hoosn haaßn un de Hosen Huusn do sei mir drhamm: Das Original Wörterbuch: Ratgeber und Fundgrube der erzgebirgischen Mund- und Lebensart: Erzgebirgisch – Deutsch / Deutsch – Erzgebirgisch[5], 3. geänderte Auflage edition, Norderstedt: BoD – Books on Demand, →ISBN, OCLC 932028867, page 20:

Icelandic[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From French bal (a dance)

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

ball n (genitive singular balls, nominative plural böll)

  1. dance

Declension[edit]


Irish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Irish ball, from Proto-Celtic *ballos, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰel- (to blow, swell, inflate); compare English ball, Greek φαλλός (phallós, penis).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

ball m (genitive singular baill, nominative plural baill)

  1. (anatomy) organ
  2. component part
  3. member
  4. article
  5. spot, place
  6. spot, mark
  7. (sets) element, member

Declension[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Mutation[edit]

Irish mutation
Radical Lenition Eclipsis
ball bhall mball
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

References[edit]


Middle English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Old English *beall.

Noun[edit]

ball

  1. Alternative form of bal

Etymology 2[edit]

Probably from Old French bale.

Noun[edit]

ball

  1. Alternative form of bale (bale)

Norwegian Bokmål[edit]

Norwegian Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia no

Etymology 1[edit]

From Old Norse bǫllr.

Noun[edit]

ball m (definite singular ballen, indefinite plural baller, definite plural ballene)

  1. ball (solid or hollow sphere)
  2. ball (object, usually spherical, used for playing games)
Derived terms[edit]
Norwegian Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia no

Etymology 2[edit]

Borrowed from French bal.

Noun[edit]

ball n (definite singular ballet, indefinite plural ball or baller, definite plural balla or ballene)

  1. ball (formal social occasion involving dancing)
Derived terms[edit]

References[edit]


Norwegian Nynorsk[edit]

Norwegian Nynorsk Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia nn

Etymology 1[edit]

From Old Norse bǫllr.

Noun[edit]

ball m (definite singular ballen, indefinite plural ballar, definite plural ballane)

  1. a ball (solid or hollow sphere)
  2. a ball (object, usually spherical, used for playing games)
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Borrowed from French bal.

Noun[edit]

ball n (definite singular ballet, indefinite plural ball, definite plural balla)

  1. ball (formal social occasion involving dancing)
Derived terms[edit]

References[edit]


Old Irish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Celtic *ballos.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

ball m

  1. a body part
  2. member of a group
  3. part, portion
  4. a colored spot

Declension[edit]

Masculine o-stem
Singular Dual Plural
Nominative ball ballL baillL
Vocative baill ballL baulluH
Accusative ballN ballL baulluH
Genitive baillL ball ballN
Dative baullL ballaib ballaib
Initial mutations of a following adjective:
  • H = triggers aspiration
  • L = triggers lenition
  • N = triggers nasalization

Descendants[edit]

  • Irish: ball
  • Scottish Gaelic: ball

Mutation[edit]

Old Irish mutation
Radical Lenition Nasalization
baill baill
pronounced with /v(ʲ)-/
mbaill
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

Further reading[edit]


Scottish Gaelic[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Old Irish ball m (limb, member, organ; member of community; part, portion, piece; article, object; place, spot; passage (of a book); spot, mark, blemish) (compare Irish ball), from Proto-Celtic *ballos, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰel- (to blow, swell, inflate) (compare English ball, Ancient Greek φαλλός (phallós, penis)).

Noun[edit]

ball m (genitive singular buill, plural buill)

  1. member (of a group)
  2. article, item
  3. (anatomy) organ; limb
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English bal and/or Old Norse bǫllr (a ball), both from Proto-Germanic *balluz, *ballô (ball), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰel- (to blow, inflate, swell).

Noun[edit]

ball m (genitive singular buill, plural buill)

  1. ball
Derived terms[edit]

Mutation[edit]

Scottish Gaelic mutation
Radical Lenition
ball bhall
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

Further reading[edit]

  • Edward Dwelly (1911), “ball”, in Faclair Gàidhlig gu Beurla le Dealbhan [The Illustrated Gaelic–English Dictionary], 10th edition, Edinburgh: Birlinn Limited, →ISBN
  • G. Toner, M. Ní Mhaonaigh, S. Arbuthnot, D. Wodtko, M.-L. Theuerkauf, editors (2019), “ball”, in eDIL: Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language

Swedish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

ball

  1. (slang) cool, hip, fun, entertaining
    Det är ballt att åka skateboard.
    It’s cool to ride a skateboard.
    Synonym: cool

Declension[edit]

Inflection of ball
Indefinite Positive Comparative Superlative2
Common singular ball ballare ballast
Neuter singular ballt ballare ballast
Plural balla ballare ballast
Masculine plural3 balle ballare ballast
Definite Positive Comparative Superlative
Masculine singular1 balle ballare ballaste
All balla ballare ballaste
1) Only used, optionally, to refer to things whose natural gender is masculine.
2) The indefinite superlative forms are only used in the predicative.
3) Dated or archaic

Yola[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English bal, from Old English *beall.

Noun[edit]

ball

  1. ball
    • 1867, “A YOLA ZONG”, in SONGS, ETC. IN THE DIALECT OF FORTH AND BARGY, number 4:
      Fan ee ball.
      When the ball.

References[edit]

  • Jacob Poole (1867), William Barnes, editor, A Glossary, With some Pieces of Verse, of the old Dialect of the English Colony in the Baronies of Forth and Bargy, County of Wexford, Ireland, London: J. Russell Smith, page 84