on the ball


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ball 1

 (bôl)
n.
1.
a. A spherical object or entity: a steel ball.
b. A spherical or almost spherical body: a ball of flame.
2. Sports
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.
3.
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
v.tr.
1. To form into a ball.
2. Vulgar Slang To have sexual intercourse with.
v.intr.
1. To become formed into a ball.
2. Vulgar Slang To have sexual intercourse.
Phrasal Verb:
ball up
To confuse; bungle.
Idioms:
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.

[Middle English bal, probably from Old English *beall; see bhel- in Indo-European roots.]

ball 2

 (bôl)
n.
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.]
Translations
يَقِظ، مُنْتَبِه، واعٍ
na výši
hurtig i vendingenkvik
klár, meî á nótunum
olup bitenden haberdaruyanık

ball1

(boːl) noun
1. anything roughly round in shape. a ball of wool.
2. a round object used in games. a tennis ball.
3. balls (plural) (slang) testicles.
ˌball-ˈbearings noun plural
in machinery etc, small steel balls that help the revolving of one part over another.
ˈballcock noun
a valve in a cistern.
ˈballpoint noun
a pen having a tiny ball as the writing point.
adjective
a ballpoint pen.
on the ball
quick, alert and up-to-date. The new manager is really on the ball.
start/set, keep the ball rolling
to start or keep something going, especially a conversation. He can be relied on to start the ball rolling at parties.
References in classic literature ?
Then the boys who are bending and watching on the outside, mark them: they are most useful players, the dodgers, who seize on the ball the moment it rolls out from amongst the chargers, and away with it across to the opposite goal.
There is a hurried rush of the School fags to the spot, but no one throws himself on the ball, the only chance, and young Brooke has touched it right under the School goal-posts.
The blood of all the Browns is up, and the two rush in together, and throw themselves on the ball, under the very feet of the advancing column--the prepostor on his hands and knees, arching his back, and Tom all along on his face.