Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

ball - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun ball pronunciation in British English /bɔːl/
Word Forms
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    [countable] a round object used in games and sports

    Try to kick the ball into the back of the net.

    a tennis/golf ball

    1. a.
      a round or nearly round object or shape

      Shape the dough into balls.

      a melon ball

      ball of:

      a ball of wool

  2. 2
    [uncountable] any game that you play with a ball, especially an informal game

    We’ll be outside playing ball until dinner.

    1. a.
      [countable] an occasion when someone kicks, hits, or throws the ball in a game, or the way they kick, hit, or throw it

      He kicked a long ball upfield.

  3. 3
    [countable] a formal social event at which there is dancing and usually a meal

    the college’s summer ball

  4. 4
    [countable] the part of your foot, hand, or thumb that is slightly round and sticks out
    ball of:

    He balanced on the balls of his feet.


sea lion

in an online conversation, repeatedly asking a person questions which suggest that you are interested in what they are talking about, but are actually intended to annoy them

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day


to teach someone

Open Dictionary


an electric skateboard

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play