- 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 ballgame
A couple of summers ago I sat with Zamperini at a ballgame at Fenway Park.Dick Cheney vs. ‘Unbroken’
December 15, 2014
Met him on the D train going to Yankee Stadium one day and spent that afternoon watching a ballgame with him in the press box.The Strange and Mysterious Death of Mrs. Jerry Lee Lewis
Richard Ben Cramer
January 11, 2014
“The ballgame is a little different” in Pakistan, he continued.Musharraf on Fixing Pakistan
October 28, 2009
He said, "I have an undershirt on today," it was at some ballgame.Warren Commission (2 of 26): Hearings Vol. II (of 15)
The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
- 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
Idioms and Phrases with ballgame
see whole new ballgame.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.