- a drink of whiskey mixed with club soda or ginger ale and served with ice in a tall glass.
- a signal to start a train, given with the hand or with a lamp.
- a signal for a train to move at full speed.
- Military Slang. a hand salute.
- Slang. to move at full speed.
- to signal to (the engineer of a train) to proceed.
Origin of highball
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- a long iced drink consisting of a spirit base with water, soda water, etc
- (originally in railway use) a signal that the way ahead is clear and one may proceed
- (intr) to move at great speed
- (tr) to drive (a vehicle) at great speed
C19: (in sense 2) from the early railway signal consisting of a ball hoisted to the top of a pole
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
Word Origin and History for highballing
type of alcoholic drink, 1898, probably from ball "drink of whiskey;" high because it is served in a tall glass.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper