Definition of on the ball in English:

on the ball

See synonyms for on the ball


  • 1Alert to new ideas, methods, and trends.

    ‘maintaining contact with customers keeps me on the ball’
    • ‘It seems that Jim is really on the ball these days.’
    • ‘Luckily he was more on the ball and able to sort me out a disk.’
    • ‘When a customer complains, you need to be on the ball and get things done for them.’
    • ‘If you are a solicitor, for example, you need to sound on the ball.’
    • ‘If the fault in this case lies with officials who weren't on the ball, let's see someone deal with them.’
    • ‘He warned that the players who step in will have to be on the ball.’
    • ‘I wish we'd been on the ball enough just to get a copy of the swimming pool skit which was the only one that got edited, but we had more on our mind at the time.’
    • ‘She told me I was on the ball, and I gleefully admitted to having counted down the days!’
    • ‘There was also a commentator who seemed rather on the ball.’
    • ‘As it happens his second email indicated that he was on the ball and I needn't have been so concerned.’
    1. 1.1Indicating competence, alertness, or intelligence.
      ‘a woman like that, with so much on the ball’
      • ‘I was even more amazed to find him personable, intelligent and on the ball.’
      • ‘He's also pushing eighty five, and while totally on the ball, surely not as sharp as he was in 1957.’