ball game

ball game, ballpark
1. Ball game, an American name for baseball, has formed the core of several colloquial idioms in which it means ‘a state of affairs’, as in a whole new ball game. Because of its wide scope of alternative reference, it seems to fit naturally into BrE and to be understood perfectly well in other countries where baseball is hardly known:

• It was a different ball-game in those days and you bloody well know it —W. J. Burley, 1991.

2. Ballpark, though even more remote culturally, has also entered BrE in the idioms in the right ballpark, meaning ‘approximately correct’, in the same ballpark, meaning ‘of the same kind’ or ‘similar’

• (It is encouraging to see that the recent total is in the same ballpark —financial website, BrE 2003 [OEC])

and ballpark figure, meaning one that is approximate. Colourful though it is in casual conversation, it is certainly to be avoided in more formal contexts.

Modern English usage. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • ball game — ball games also ballgame 1) N COUNT: usu pl Ball games are games that are played with a ball such as tennis, baseball, and football. 2) N COUNT A ball game is a baseball match. [AM] I d still like to go to a ball game. 3) N SING You can use ball… …   English dictionary

  • ball game — ball ,game noun count 1. ) AMERICAN a baseball game 2. ) any game played with a ball, such as soccer or football a different ball game or a whole new ball game a situation that is completely different from what has happened before: I m working in …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • ball game — n 1.) AmE a game of baseball, football, or ↑basketball 2.) BrE any game played with a ball 3.) a whole new ball game a situation that is very different from the one you are used to ▪ I used to be a teacher, so working in an office is a whole new… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • ball game — ball′ game n. 1) spo any game played with a ball 2) cvb inf a situation and all its attendant circumstances • Etymology: 1840–50, amer …   From formal English to slang

  • Ball game — A ball game is a game played with a ball. Someone who plays a ball game is known as a ballplayer.There are many popular games or sports involving some type of ball or similar object. These games can be grouped by the general objective of the game …   Wikipedia

  • ball game — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms ball game : singular ball game plural ball games 1) any game played with a ball, such as tennis or football 2) American a baseball match • a different ball game …   English dictionary

  • ball game — 1. any game played with a ball, esp. baseball or softball. 2. Informal. a situation and all its attendant circumstances: Having a new administration in power changes the entire ball game at city hall. Cf. new ball game. 3. Archaeol. a ceremonial… …   Universalium

  • ball game — noun a) Any game played with a ball. Basketball, cricket, and football are three kinds of ball game. b) A specific contest or match between teams playing such a game. George and Harriet went to the stadium to see the ball game …   Wiktionary

  • ball game — noun 1 AmE a baseball game 2 BrE any game played with a ball 3 a whole new ball game a situation that is very different from the one you are used to: I used to be a teacher, so working in an office is a whole new ball game …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • ball game — noun Date: 1848 1. a game played with a ball 2. a. a set of circumstances ; situation < a whole new ball game > b. contest 1 …   New Collegiate Dictionary


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