or ball park

[ bawl-pahrk ]
/ ˈbɔlˌpɑrk /


a tract of land where ball games, especially baseball, are played.
a baseball stadium.


Informal. being an approximation, based on an educated guess: Give me a ballpark figure on our total expenses for next year.

Nearby words

  1. ballot paper,
  2. ballotade,
  3. ballotini,
  4. ballottement,
  5. ballottine,
  6. ballpark figure,
  7. ballplayer,
  8. ballpoint,
  9. ballroom,
  10. ballroom dance


    in the ballpark, Informal. within reasonable, acceptable, or expected limits: The price may go up another $10, but that's still in the ballpark.

Origin of ballpark

An Americanism dating back to 1895–1900; ball1 + park Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for in the ballpark


/ (ˈbɔːlˌpɑːk) /


US and Canadian a stadium used for baseball games
  1. approximate rangein the right ballpark
  2. (as modifier)a ballpark figure
informal a situation; state of affairsit's a whole new ballpark for him
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 in the ballpark



"baseball stadium," 1899, from (base)ball + park (n.). Figurative sense of "acceptable range of approximation" first recorded 1954, originally in the jargon of atomic weapons scientists, perhaps originally referring to area within which a missile was expected to return to earth; the reference is to broad but reasonably predictable dimensions.

The result, according to the author's estimate, is a stockpile equivalent to one billion tons of TNT. Assuming this estimate is "in the ball park," clearly there is valid reason for urging candor on the part of our government. [Ralph E. Lapp, "Atomic Candor," in "Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists," October 1954]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with in the ballpark

in the ballpark

Also, out of the ballpark. See under ballpark figure.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.