Nearby words

  1. balkh,
  2. balkhash,
  3. balkis,
  4. balkline,
  5. balky,
  6. ball ammunition,
  7. ball and chain,
  8. ball and ring,
  9. ball bearing,
  10. ball boy

Idioms

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 formsball·er, noun

Can be confusedbald balled bawled

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


British Dictionary definitions for drop the ball

Ball

/ (bɔːl) /

noun

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

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

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

Word Origin and History for drop the ball
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for drop the ball

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 drop the ball

drop the ball

Make an error; miss an opportunity. For example, She really dropped the ball when she forgot to call back, or He dropped the ball, turning down their offer. This expression comes from sports where a player who fails to catch a ball is charged with an error. Its use for more general kinds of mistakes dates from about 1950.

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.