Definition of cramp balls in English:

cramp balls

Line breaks: cramp balls


  • A European fungus which produces a shiny spherical black fruiting body on dead or dying wood, especially ash. Also called King Alfred's cakes.
    • Daldinia concentrica, family Xylariaceae, subdivision Ascomycotina
    More example sentences
    • Of course, even if you've done as I suggest, your cramp balls can be re-infested at a later date unless stored in a bug-proof container.
    • Daldinia concentrica also known as King Alfred's cakes, cramp balls or coal fungus is one of the more common species.
    • Black cramp balls, or King Alfred's Cakes, pepper the trunk of an old ash.


so named because it was once believed to be a charm against cramp and ague.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day tortie
Pronunciation: ˈtɔːtiː
a tortoiseshell cat