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softball

[sawft-bawl, soft-]
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noun
  1. a form of baseball played on a smaller diamond with a ball that is larger and softer than a baseball.
  2. the ball itself.
  3. something that can be easily dealt with: The confirmation committee threw her a softball on that question.
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Origin of softball

First recorded in 1925–30; soft + ball1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for softball

softball

noun
  1. a variation of baseball using a larger softer ball, pitched underhand
  2. the ball used
  3. cookery the stage in the boiling of a sugar syrup at which it may be rubbed into balls after dipping in cold water
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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 softball

n.

baseball of larger than usual size, used in a scaled-down version of the game, 1914, from soft + ball (n.1). The game itself so called from 1926, earlier known as playground baseball. The word earlier was a term in sugar candy making (1894). Softball question, one that is easy to answer, is attested from 1976.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper