- any game played with a ball, especially baseball or softball.
- Informal. a situation and all its attendant circumstances: Having a new administration in power changes the entire ball game at city hall.Compare new ball game.
- Archaeology. a ceremonial game of both ritual and sporting significance, played by teams on a ball court in Mesoamerican cultures from the Preclassic period to the Spanish conquest.
Origin of ball game
An Americanism dating back to 1840–50
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for ball game
He might have been speaking of any commonplace—a ball-game, or a good show.
At a ball-game the sight of a man slumbering on the benches is inconceivable.Ranching, Sport and Travel
It's the fresh guy who made the cheap talk at the ball-game.Jim Spurling, Fisherman
Albert Walter Tolman
Ball-game of the women, ma-úhtape (e distinctly pronounced; the whole run together).
"I am afraid he won't go to the ball-game; that will be too bad," said Carl.The Story of the Big Front Door
Mary Finley Leonard
- any game played with a ball
- US and Canadian a game of baseball
- informal a situation; state of affairs (esp in the phrase a whole new ball game)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012