Definition of curveball in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkərvbôl/


1A pitch thrown with a strong downward spin, causing the ball to drop suddenly and veer to the side as it approaches home plate.
Example sentences
  • The statistics don't reflect, for instance, how many times pitchers plunk batters with changeups, curveballs or other off-speed pitches, or how much effort a hitter makes to get out of the way.
  • Now that his back is feeling better, Estes is better able to locate his pitches, particularly his curveball.
  • My fastball was unhittable, my changeup was devastating, and my curveball dropped off the face of the earth.
1.1North American informal Something which is unexpected, surprising, or disruptive: there’s always a curveball on every mission
More example sentences
  • When you think that the technique has reached its peak, along comes a curveball in the shape of two CDs that are another landmark in the field of electronic music.
  • His curveball came, though, in the form of a severed Achilles tendon that ended his dreams of making the majors.
  • Getting back on track after a slight curveball is what's important.


throw someone a curveball

North American informal Unexpectedly present someone with a challenge or disruption: just when you think things are working out, life throws you a curveball
More example sentences
  • Just know that this won't be the last time Mother Nature throws us a curveball.
  • Every once in a while you are thrown a curveball.
  • Just when we got the hang of baking with applesauce instead of oil, the diet gurus throw us another curveball: Forget counting fat grams, they say.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: curve·ball

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