1 noun (C)
1 TO PLAY WITH a round object that is thrown, kicked, or hit in a game or sport: Bounce the ball to me. | a tennis ball
2 ROUND SHAPE something formed or rolled into a round shape: a ball of string | Shape the dough into balls.
3 the ball of the foot/hand/thumb the rounded part of the foot at the base of the toe, rounded part of the hand at the base of the thumb or fingers
-see also: eyeball 1 (1)
4 a fast/good/curved etc ball a ball that is thrown, hit, or kicked fast etc in a game or sport: He hit a long ball to right field.
5 no ball a ball that is thrown too high, low etc towards someone trying to hit it, in the games of cricket (2) or rounders (2)
6 BASEBALL AmE a ball thrown in baseball that a player is not expected to hit because it is not within the correct area
7 BULLET a round bullet fired from a type of gun that was used in the past
8 on the ball informal thinking or acting quickly: We need an assistant who's really on the ball.
9 set/start the ball rolling to begin an activity or event or make sure it continues: Let's start the ball rolling with a few suggestions.
10 the ball is in your court it is your turn to take action or to reply: I've sent him a letter, now the ball's in his court.
11 DANCE a large formal occasion at which people dance
12 have a ball informal to have a very good time: We had a ball at the party last night.
13 balls (plural)
a) testicles
b) taboo spoken courage or determination: It's not going to be easy. It'll take fight. Guts. Balls.
c) BrE taboo spoken something that is stupid or wrong; nonsense: That's a load of balls!
14 a ball of fire someone who has a lot of energy and is active and successful
15 the whole ball of wax AmE informal the whole thing; everything
16 ball-buster/ball-breaker AmE slang
a) a problem that is very difficult to deal with
b) an offensive word for a woman who uses her authority over men
-see also: balls 1, not play ball play1 (24) 2 verb (T)
1 also ball up to form something into a small round shape so that it takes up less space
2 AmE spoken taboo to have sex with a woman
ball sth up phrasal verb AmE spoken to make a situation confused or difficult to deal with: No, we're not going now, Lindsay's managed to ball everything up. -see also: balls-up

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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