snowball

[snoh-bawl]
noun
1.
a ball of snow pressed or rolled together, as for throwing.
2.
any of several shrubs belonging to the genus Viburnum, of the honeysuckle family, having large clusters of white, sterile flowers.
3.
a confection of crushed ice, usually in the shape of a ball, which is flavored with fruit or other syrup and served in a paper cup.
4.
a scoop or ball of ice cream covered with shredded coconut and usually chocolate sauce.
verb (used with object)
5.
to throw snowballs at.
6.
to cause to grow or become larger, greater, more intense, etc., at an accelerating rate: to snowball a small business into a great enterprise.
verb (used without object)
7.
to grow or become larger, greater, more intense, etc., at an accelerating rate.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English (noun); see snow, ball1

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
snowball (ˈsnəʊˌbɔːl)
 
n
1.  snow pressed into a ball for throwing, as in play
2.  a drink made of advocaat and lemonade
3.  slang a mixture of heroin and cocaine
4.  a dance started by one couple who separate and choose different partners. The process continues until all present are dancing
 
vb
5.  (intr) to increase rapidly in size, importance, etc: their woes have snowballed since last year
6.  (tr) to throw snowballs at

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

snowball
c.1400, from snow (n.) + ball (n.). The verb meaning "to make snowballs" is from 1684; sense of "to throw snowballs at" (someone) is from 1850. Meaning "to increase rapidly" is attested from 1929, though the image of a snowball increasing in size
as it rolls along had been used since at least 1613, and a noun sense of "a pyramid scheme" is attested from 1892. Snowball's chance (in hell) is first recorded 1934.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Everyone else is opening gifts from grandparents and aunts and uncles, and all
  he has is the snowball.
The advanced level on the snowball fight is probably my favorite.
Its popularity owes more to the snowball effect of literary reputation and
  social contagion rather than intrinsic brilliance.
Snowball the dancing parrot shifts rhythm as music changes.
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