ballup

[ bawl-uhp ]
/ ˈbɔlˌʌp /

noun Slang.

a state of confusion; mix-up.
Also especially British, balls-up [bawlz-uhp] /ˈbɔlzˌʌp/.

Origin of ballup

First recorded in 1935–40; noun use of verb phrase ball up

Definition for balls-up (2 of 2)

Origin of ball

1
1175–1225; Middle English bal, balle < Old French < Germanic *ballaz; compare Old Norse bǫllr, Old High German bal, ballo, balla, German Ball, Dutch bal; perhaps akin to Latin follis leather bag; see ballock(s)

Related forms

ball·er, noun

Can be confused

bald balled bawled
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for balls-up (1 of 4)

balls-up

US ballup

slang

noun

something botched or muddled

verb balls up, US ball up

(tr, adverb) to muddle or botch

British Dictionary definitions for balls-up (2 of 4)

Ball

/ (bɔːl) /

noun

John . died 1381, English priest: executed as one of the leaders of the Peasants' Revolt (1381)

British Dictionary definitions for balls-up (3 of 4)

ball

1
/ (bɔːl) /

noun

verb

Word Origin for ball

C13: from Old Norse böllr; related to Old High German balla, Italian palla French balle

usage

Sense 9 of this word was formerly considered to be taboo, and it was labelled as such in previous editions of Collins English Dictionary . However, it has now become acceptable in speech, although some older or more conservative people may object to its use

British Dictionary definitions for balls-up (4 of 4)

ball

2
/ (bɔːl) /

noun

a social function for dancing, esp one that is lavish or formal
informal a very enjoyable time (esp in the phrase have a ball)

Word Origin for ball

C17: from French bal (n), from Old French baller (vb), from Late Latin ballāre to dance, from Greek ballizein
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

Medicine definitions for balls-up

ball

[ bôl ]

n.

A spherical object or mass.
A bezoar.
A large pill or bolus.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with balls-up

ball


In addition to the idioms beginning with ball

  • ball and chain
  • ball of fire
  • ball up

also see:

  • behind the eight ball
  • break one's balls
  • by the balls
  • carry the ball
  • crystal ball
  • drop the ball
  • eyeball to eyeball
  • get the ball rolling
  • have a ball
  • have one's eye on the ball
  • have someone by the balls
  • on the ball
  • play ball
  • put in mothballs
  • snowball's chance in hell
  • that's how the ball bounces
  • whole ball of wax
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.