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[bawl-pahrk] /ˈbɔlˌpɑrk/
a tract of land where ball games, especially baseball, are played.
a baseball stadium.
Informal. being an approximation, based on an educated guess:
Give me a ballpark figure on our total expenses for next year.
in the ballpark, Informal. within reasonable, acceptable, or expected limits:
The price may go up another $10, but that's still in the ballpark.
Also, ball park.
1895-1900, Americanism; ball1 + park Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for in the ballpark


(US & Canadian) a stadium used for baseball games
  1. approximate range: in the right ballpark
  2. (as modifier): a ballpark figure
(informal) a situation; state of affairs: it's a whole new ballpark for him
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for in the ballpark



"baseball stadium," 1899, from (base)ball + park (n.). Figurative sense of "acceptable range of approximation" first recorded 1954, originally in the jargon of atomic weapons scientists, perhaps originally referring to area within which a missile was expected to return to earth; the reference is to broad but reasonably predictable dimensions.

The result, according to the author's estimate, is a stockpile equivalent to one billion tons of TNT. Assuming this estimate is "in the ball park," clearly there is valid reason for urging candor on the part of our government. [Ralph E. Lapp, "Atomic Candor," in "Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists," October 1954]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for in the ballpark

in the ballpark

adjective phrase

Within general appropriate limits; not exorbitant, outrageous, etc: react to an analyst's estimate by telling him whether it is too high, too low, or ''in the ballpark'' (1968+)



Claimed or designated special territory; turf: Aren't you a little out of your ballpark here?/ I've played mostly your game. But now we're in my park (1963+)

Related Terms

all over the map, in the ballpark

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with in the ballpark

in the ballpark

Also, out of the ballpark.
See under ballpark figure
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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