screwball

[skroo-bawl]

noun

Slang. an eccentric or whimsically eccentric person; a nut.
Baseball. a pitched ball that curves toward the side of the plate from which it was thrown.

adjective

Slang. eccentric or whimsically eccentric: What a screwball idea!

Nearby words

  1. screw up one's courage,
  2. screw you,
  3. screw-off,
  4. screw-on,
  5. screw-top,
  6. screwdriver,
  7. screwed,
  8. screwed up,
  9. screwhead,
  10. screwpine

Origin of screwball

1865–70; 1935–40 for def 2; screw + ball1

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

Examples from the Web for screwball


British Dictionary definitions for screwball

screwball

noun

an odd or eccentric person

adjective

odd; zany; eccentric
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 screwball

screwball

n.

"eccentric person," 1933, U.S. slang, earlier as a type of erratic baseball pitch (1928), from a still earlier name for a type of delivery in cricket (1866), from screw (n.) + ball (n.1). Screwball comedy is attested from 1938, in reference to Carole Lombard.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper