BALL, noun [Latin pila; A ball may signify a mass from collecting, or it may be that which is driven, from the root of Latin pello; probably the former.]
1. A round body; a spherical substance, whether natural or artificial; or a body nearly round; as, a ball for play; a ball of thread; a ball of snow.
2. A bullet; a ball of iron or lead for cannon, muskets, etc.
3. A printer's ball consisting of hair or wool, covered with leather or skin, and fastened to a stock, called a ball-stock, and used to put ink on the types in the forms.
4. The globe or earth, from its figure.
5. A globe borne as an ensign of authority; as, to hold the ball of a kingdom.
6. Any part of the body that is round or protuberant; as, the eye ball; the ball of the thumb or foot.
7. The weight at the bottom of a pendulum.
8. Among the Cornish miners in England, a tin mine.
9. In pyrotechnics, a composition of combustible ingredients, which serve to burn, smoke or give light.
BALL-stock, among printers, a stock somewhat hollow at one end, to which balls of skin, stuffed with wool, are fastened, and which serves as a handle.
BALL-vein, among miners, a sort of iron ore, found in loose masses, of a circular form, containing sparkling particles.
BALL and socket, an instrument used in surveying and astronomy, made of brass, with a perpetual screw, to move horizontally, obliquely, or vertically.
Puff-ball, in botany, the Lycoperdon, a genus of fungeses.
Fire-ball, a meteor; a luminous globe darting through the atmosphere; also, a bag of canvas filled with gunpowder, sulphur, pitch, saltpeter, etc., to be thrown by the hand, or from mortars, to set fire to houses.
BALL, noun [Gr.to toss or throw; to leap.] An entertainment of dancing; originally and peculiarly, at the invitation and expense of an individual; but the word is used in America, for a dance at the expense of the attendants.
BALL, verb intransitive To form into a ball as snow on horses' hoofs, or on the feet. We say the horse balls, or the snow balls.