Definition of curveball in English:


Syllabification: curve·ball
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.
More 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
  • He's flexible, and he can handle life's curve balls without throwing a fit.
  • "There's always a curveball on every mission", he said, while enroute to the South Pole.
  • No curve balls or surprises from the Fed, boosting rates for the fourth time this year.


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
  • What gets me so excited about an album like this is the few curve balls it throws my way.
  • "Each time you think you've got one thing figured out, they throw you a curveball," she notes.
  • Every now and then science throws us a curve ball, a technology at once staggeringly useful and breathtakingly dangerous.

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