[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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Example sentences
The other unromantic moment came with what also should have been a softball, or a soft satellite: the moon base.
He would have seen three generations of males and females playing softball in the field next to the old high school.
Softball leagues run in the spring, summer, and fall months.
Softball leagues are run at many sites throughout the county.
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