[ hahy-bawl ]
See synonyms for: highballhighballedhighballing on Thesaurus.com

  1. a drink of whiskey mixed with club soda or ginger ale and served with ice in a tall glass.

  2. Railroads.

    • a signal to start a train, given with the hand or with a lamp.

    • a signal for a train to move at full speed.

  1. Military Slang. a hand salute.

verb (used without object)
  1. Slang. to move at full speed.

verb (used with object)
  1. to signal to (the engineer of a train) to proceed.

Origin of highball

An Americanism dating back to 1880–85; high + ball1

Words Nearby highball

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use highball in a sentence

  • She put out her hand to him, but he did not see it; he set off to find some one to lead him to a Scotch highball.

    What Will People Say? | Rupert Hughes
  • Say, they had a highball or that,—all he had to do was to drop the tiniest speck from the little vial into the drink.

    The Come Back | Carolyn Wells
  • I believe you had reached the highball incident in your recital.

    The Main Chance | Meredith Nicholson
  • It is not particularly significant that I started the summer on highball and ended it on Budweiser.

    Tenting To-night | Mary Roberts Rinehart

British Dictionary definitions for highball


/ (ˈhaɪˌbɔːl) mainly US /

  1. a long iced drink consisting of a spirit base with water, soda water, etc

  2. (originally in railway use) a signal that the way ahead is clear and one may proceed

  1. (intr) to move at great speed

  2. (tr) to drive (a vehicle) at great speed

Origin of highball

C19: (in sense 2) from the early railway signal consisting of a ball hoisted to the top of a pole

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