soft ball


[sawft-bawl, soft-]
a form of baseball played on a smaller diamond with a larger and softer, ball.
the ball itself.
something that can be easily dealt with: The confirmation committee threw her a softball on that question.

1925–30; soft + ball1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
softball (ˈsɒftˌbɔːl)
1.  a variation of baseball using a larger softer ball, pitched underhand
2.  the ball used
3.  cookery the stage in the boiling of a sugar syrup at which it may be rubbed into balls after dipping in cold water

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

baseball of larger than usual size, used in a scaled-down version of the game, 1914, from soft + ball. The game itself so called from 1926, earlier known as playground baseball. The word earlier was a term in sugar candy making (1894). Softball question,
one that is easy to answer, is attested from 1976.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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