• synonyms


[kan-uh n-bawl]
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noun Also cannon ball.
  1. a missile, usually round and made of iron or steel, designed to be fired from a cannon.
  2. Tennis. a served ball that travels with great speed and describes little or no arc in flight.
  3. anything that moves with great speed, as an express train.
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  1. made from a curled-up position with the arms pressing the knees against one's chest: a cannonball dive.
  2. moving at great speed: a train known as a cannonball express.
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Origin of cannonball

First recorded in 1655–65; cannon + ball1


  1. JulianCannonball, 1928–75, American jazz saxophonist.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for cannonball

information, notice, word, directive, memo, memorandum, note, letter, report, news, armament, bomb, bullet, cartridge, rocket, materiel, missile, chemical, explosive

Examples from the Web for cannonball

Contemporary Examples of cannonball

Historical Examples of cannonball

  • "A doctor will be down on 'the Cannonball' about five o'clock," he added.

  • When the soldier is hit by a cannonball, rags are as becoming as purple.

  • His head was shot off by a cannonball just as his regiment was charging at the bridge.

    With Fire and Sword

    Samuel H. M. Byers

  • The Moravians held their immersion baptismal ceremonies in the Cannonball.

  • For the next three seconds you could have heard a cannonball drop.

    The Gold Bat

    P. G. Wodehouse

British Dictionary definitions for cannonball


  1. a projectile fired from a cannon: usually a solid round metal shot
  2. tennis
    1. a very fast low serve
    2. (as modifier)a cannonball serve
  3. a jump into water by a person who has his arms tucked into the body to form a ball
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verb (intr)
  1. (often foll by along, etc) to rush along, like a cannonball
  2. to execute a cannonball jump
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  1. very fast or powerful
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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