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ball game

or ballgame

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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for ballgame

ball game

any game played with a ball
(US & 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
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Slang definitions & phrases for ballgame

ball game

noun phrase

  1. A given set of conditions; complex of circumstances; situation: What we do and what they do isn't the same ball game (1960s+)
  2. A competition; rivalry: It's NBC ahead in the network ratings ball game, NBC says/ Goodbye, ball game, he said (late 1960s+)
  3. The decisive element or event, esp in a competition or encounter; the NAME OF THE GAME: The third ward vote is the ball game in this town (late 1960s+)

Related Terms

that's the ball game, a whole new ball game

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with ballgame


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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