4. Any solid spherical, cylindrical, or conical projectile of lead or iron, to be discharged from a firearm; as, a cannon ball; a rife ball; often used collectively; as, powder and ball. Spherical balls for the smaller firearms are commonly called bullets.
9. The globe or earth. "Move round the dark terrestrial ball." (Addison) Ball and socket joint, a joint in which a ball moves within a socket, so as to admit of motion in every direction within certain limits. Ball bearings, a mechanical device for lessening the friction of axle bearings by means of small loose metal balls. Ball cartridge, a cartridge containing a ball, as distinguished from a blank cartridge, containing only powder. Ball cock, a faucet or valve which is opened or closed by the fall or rise of a ball floating in water at the end of a lever. Ball gudgeon, a pivot of a spherical form, which permits lateral deflection of the arbor or shaft, while retaining the pivot in its socket. Knight. Ball lever, the lever used in a ball cock. Ball of the eye, the eye itself, as distinguished from its lids and socket; formerly, the pupil of the eye. Ball valve, a sort of iron ore, found in loose masses of a globular form, containing sparkling particles. Three balls, or Three golden balls, a pawnbroker's sign or shop.
Synonyms: See Globe.
Origin: OE. Bal, balle; akin to OHG. Balla, palla, G. Ball, Icel. Bollr, ball; cf. F. Balle. Cf. 1st Bale, Pallmall.
(01 Mar 1998)
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