Definition of spitball in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈspɪtbɔːl/
North American


1A piece of paper that has been chewed and shaped into a ball for use as a missile.
Example sentences
  • Avoiding spitballs, paper airplanes, some desks and a couple of students, John made his way to the teacher's desk, where a rather round man was reading the newspaper.
  • At this, about a dozen spitballs and crumpled up paper wads made their way towards the girl, testament to the highly bored and volatile class.
  • They threatened him and threw paper spitballs at him.
2 Baseball An unlawful pitch made with a ball moistened with saliva or sweat to make it move erratically.
Example sentences
  • Gaylord Perry succored his Hall of Fame career by often calling upon an illegal spitball pitch.
  • He caught every type of pitch imaginable, some that are not legal today such as shine balls, spitballs and emery balls, from some of the greatest pitchers of his day.
  • After getting two strikes on Smith with his spitball, Grimes threw him a fastball, something Smith always handled well.


[with object] informal
Throw out (a suggestion) for discussion: I’m just spitballing a few ideas
More example sentences
  • Though the film is derivative, the best anime usually is, spitballing liberally from American pop culture - TV's Cowboy Bebop is able proof.
  • So for someone who spent three years co-writing two series of Spaced in her own blood, sweat and tears, isn't the idea that you can spitball a 100-minute movie on the spot just a little galling?
  • How many of those parents would choose that if there was an alternative that actually did teach, oh I'm just spitballing here, science and math?



Example sentences
  • In the fifth inning of a tied 1920 game, New York Yankee spitballer Carl Mays faced Cleveland shortstop Ray Chapman, who was crowding the plate.
  • Maybe it's like how they licensed spitballers after banning it for new pitchers in the 1910s.
  • Wet spitballers used saliva, pine tar, tobacco juice, resin, mud, Vaseline, grease and the sweat of their brow.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: spit|ball

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