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pinball

[pin-bawl]
noun
  1. any of various games played on a sloping, glass-topped table presenting a field of colorful, knoblike target pins and rails, the object usually being to shoot a ball, driven by a spring, up a side passage and cause it to roll back down against these projections and through channels, which electrically flash or ring and record the score.
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Origin of pinball

An Americanism dating back to 1880–85; pin + ball1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pinball

Contemporary Examples of pinball

Historical Examples of pinball

  • From pinball games to tennis and skiing, from virtual bowling to virtual football, our thoughts make new experiences possible.

  • Later, in the Recreation Lounge, Ringg challenged him to a game with one of the pinball machines.

    The Colors of Space

    Marion Zimmer Bradley

  • Resolutely, Bart turned his back on the bewitching colors, and bent over the pinball machine.

    The Colors of Space

    Marion Zimmer Bradley

  • We just did a test yesterday and if he inspects this place now, we won't get enough money to build a pinball machine.

    Wait for Weight

    Jack McKenty


British Dictionary definitions for pinball

pinball

noun
    1. a game in which the player shoots a small ball through several hazards on a table, electrically operated machine, etc
    2. (as modifier)a pinball machine
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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

Word Origin and History for pinball

n.

also pin-ball, game played on a sloping surface, 1911, from pin (n.) + ball (n.1). Earlier it meant "a pincushion" (1803).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper