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a. A spherical object or entity: a steel ball.
b. A spherical or almost spherical body: a ball of flame.
a. Any of various movable and round or oblong objects used in various athletic activities and games.
b. Such an object moving, thrown, hit, or kicked in a particular manner: a low ball; a fair ball.
c. A game, especially baseball or basketball, played with such an object.
d. A pitched baseball that does not pass through the strike zone and is not swung at by the batter.
a. A solid spherical or pointed projectile, such as one shot from a cannon.
b. Projectiles of this kind considered as a group.
4. A rounded part or protuberance, especially of the body: the ball of the foot.
5. Vulgar Slang
a. A testicle.
b. balls Courage, especially when reckless.
c. balls Great presumptuousness.
v. balled, ball·ing, balls
1. To form into a ball.
2. Vulgar Slang To have sexual intercourse with.
1. To become formed into a ball.
2. Vulgar Slang To have sexual intercourse.
To confuse; bungle.
have(someone) by the balls Vulgar Slang
To have control over someone; have someone at one's mercy.
on the ball Informal
1. Alert, competent, or efficient: a teacher who is really on the ball.
2. Relating to qualities, such as competence, skill, or knowledge, that are necessary for success: a manager who has a lot on the ball; a student who has nothing on the ball.
1. A formal gathering for social dancing.
2. Informal An extremely enjoyable time or experience: We had a ball during our vacation.
[French bal, from Old French, from baller, to dance, from Late Latin ballāre, from Greek ballizein; see gwelə- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. (Anatomy) the testicles
2. by the balls so as to be rendered powerless
3. nonsense; rubbish
4. courage; forcefulness
an exclamation of strong disagreement, contempt, annoyance, etc
Usage: Both its anatomical senses and its various extended senses nowadays have far less impact than they used to, and seem unlikely to cause offence, though some older or more conservative people may object. Interestingly, its use in the sense of courage is exactly paralleled in the Spanish term 'cojones'
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
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1. bravery, face (informal), spirit, bottle (slang), resolution, nerve, daring, courage, guts (informal), pluck, grit, backbone, fortitude, toughness, mettle, boldness, firmness, valour, spunk (informal), fearlessness, intrepidity, cojones (Spanish), hardihood, ballsiness (taboo slang), dauntlessness, lion-heartedness I never had the balls to do anything like this.
2. nonsense, stuff, bull, rubbish, shit (taboo slang), pants (slang), rot, crap (slang), garbage (informal), folly, trash, bunk (informal), bullshit (taboo slang), hot air (informal), tosh (slang, chiefly Brit.), absurdity, waffle (informal, chiefly Brit.), bollocks (Brit. taboo slang), pap, cobblers (Brit. taboo slang), bilge (informal), drivel, twaddle, tripe (informal), gibberish, guff (slang), bombast, moonshine, claptrap (informal), hogwash, hokum (slang, chiefly U.S. & Canad.), codswallop (Brit. slang), piffle (informal), poppycock (informal), balderdash (slang), bosh (informal), senselessness, eyewash (informal), kak (S. African taboo slang), ludicrousness, fatuity, tommyrot, horsefeathers (U.S. slang), bunkum or buncombe (chiefly U.S.) What complete and utter balls!
balls something up (Brit. informal) mess up, bungle, botch, cock up (Brit. slang), fuck up (offensive taboo slang), make a hash of (informal), muck up (Brit. slang), make a pig's ear of (informal) I have no intention of letting you balls it up.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
(= testicles) → couilles fpl
(= courage, guts) to have balls → avoir des couilles
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995