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[sawft-bawl, soft-] /ˈsɔftˌbɔl, ˈsɒft-/
a form of baseball played on a smaller diamond with a ball that is larger and softer than a baseball.
the ball itself.
something that can be easily dealt with:
The confirmation committee threw her a softball on that question.
Origin of softball
First recorded in 1925-30; soft + ball1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for softball


a variation of baseball using a larger softer ball, pitched underhand
the ball used
(cookery) the stage in the boiling of a sugar syrup at which it may be rubbed into balls after dipping in cold water
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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Word Origin and History for softball

baseball of larger than usual size, used in a scaled-down version of the game, 1914, from soft + ball (n.1). The game itself so called from 1926, earlier known as playground baseball. The word earlier was a term in sugar candy making (1894). Softball question, one that is easy to answer, is attested from 1976.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for softball



Trivial and contemptible; nonserious: a softball question if ever there was one/ This softball performance by Democrats on the Judiciary Committee in the Thomas hearings left many in a huge TV audience wondering what legitimate claim to national power this bumbling crowd could possibly have

[1970s+; based on hardball]

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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