A basketball



  • A solid or hollow sphere, or roughly spherical mass.
  • Homologue or analogue of a disk in the Euclidean plane.
  • A solid, spherical nonexplosive missile for a cannon, rifle, gun, etc.
  • A roundish, protuberant portion of some part of the body.
  • The globe; the earthly sphere.
  • 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
  • A testicle.
  • A leather-covered cushion, fastened to a handle called a ballstock; formerly used by printers for inking the form, then superseded by the roller.
  • A large pill, a form in which medicine was given to horses; a bolus.
  • A formal dance.
  • A very enjoyable time.
  • 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.


  • To form or wind into a ball.
  • To heat in a furnace and form into balls for rolling.
  • To have sexual intercourse with.
  • To gather balls which cling to the feet, as of damp snow or clay; to gather into balls.
  • To be hip or cool.
  • To play basketball.
  • To punish by affixing a ball and chain.


  • 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.


Similar words


  • From Middle English bal, ball, balle, from Old English *beall, *bealla or Old Norse bǫllr ("a ball"), both from Proto-Germanic *balluz, *ballô, 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). Related forms in Romance are borrowings from Germanic. See also balloon, bale.
  • Image:Basketball.jpeg|thumb|A basketball
  • From Middle French bal, from Middle French baler, from Old French baller, from Late Latin ballō.

Modern English dictionary

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