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[spit-bawl] /ˈspɪtˌbɔl/
a small ball or lump of chewed paper used as a missile.
Also called spitter. Baseball. a pitch, now illegal, made to curve by moistening one side of the ball with saliva or perspiration.
Origin of spitball
1840-50, Americanism; spit1 + ball1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for spitball
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But the very first "spitball" which spattered upon the blackboard proved a disastrous missile for its thrower.

    Cy Whittaker's Place Joseph C. Lincoln
  • I thought I could go through the motion of throwing a spitball without letting it go.

    The Iron Puddler James J. Davis
  • Hooper was a spitball artist, and his moist slants kept the Giants guessing in the early part of the game.

    Baseball Joe, Home Run King Lester Chadwick
  • He had never cared for the spitball, as he knew that sooner or later it destroyed a pitchers effectiveness.

    Baseball Joe, Home Run King Lester Chadwick
  • There are also other modifications called "the fade away," "the spitball," and others.

    Outdoor Sports and Games Claude H. Miller
Word Origin and History for spitball

1846 in the schoolboy sense; 1905 in the baseball sense, from spit + ball (n.1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for spitball



Nothing; zilch, zip: ''What'd she come up with?'' ''Spit''

Related Terms

hot spit, not count for spit, not worth a bucket of warm spit, swap spit

[1960s+; a euphemism for shit]

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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