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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.
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Origin of ball game
An Americanism dating back to 1840–50
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use ball game in a sentence
A couple of summers ago I sat with Zamperini at a ballgame at Fenway Park.Dick Cheney vs. ‘Unbroken’|Mike Barnicle|December 15, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Parenting a kid that can get from place to place under his own steam is a whole new ballgame.Kids Eat the Darndest Things: Laundry Pods, Teething Necklaces, and More Of The Weirdest Stuff Sending Kids to the E.R.|Russell Saunders|November 14, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Freezing rain, on the other hand, is a whole different ballgame.How to Survive a Southern Ice Storm|Nicholas Isabella|February 13, 2014|DAILY BEAST
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|DAILY BEAST
It's a whole new ballgame in the U.S. I cannot think of a more irresponsible way of running the U.S. government.Senate Hearing to Push for Guantánamo Closure, Plan to Move Detainees|Miranda Green|July 24, 2013|DAILY BEAST
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
British Dictionary definitions for ball game
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with ball game
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.