Definition of spitball in English:


Pronunciation /ˈspitbôl/ /ˈspɪtbɔl/

Translate spitball into Spanish


North American
  • 1A piece of paper that has been chewed and shaped into a ball for use as a missile.

    ‘Avoiding spitballs, paper airplanes, some desks and a couple of students, John made his way to the teacher's desk, where a rather round man was reading the newspaper.’
    • ‘At this, about a dozen spitballs and crumpled up paper wads made their way towards the girl, testament to the highly bored and volatile class.’
    • ‘They threatened him and threw paper spitballs at him.’
    • ‘They kept throwing pieces of mashed potatoes at her at lunch and throwing spitballs in her hair when a lesson was being taught in the orphanage teaching facilities.’
    • ‘The spectators throw paper airplanes and wads of spitballs at Louis as he walks by because they loathe what they fear.’
    • ‘There were detailed murals on some of the walls, which I thought were extremely ugly, and the layer of spitballs on them didn't help their appearance.’
    • ‘And if you want to ride your scooter out to Connecticut to barrage the place with spitballs, I can't stop you.’
    • ‘Next thing you know, they'll be blowing spitballs at Donnie Graham.’
    • ‘To confront your jealousy, make a secret list of all the things you envy… then wad it up into spitballs.’
    • ‘The Supersuckers are like the bad kids who sit at the back of the class, throwing spitballs and making barnyard noises at the teacher.’
    • ‘Within three minutes of sitting down, the boy was playing with his food and Natalie was making spitballs.’
    • ‘When they look around to see who's been pelting them with spitballs, you'll just be casually checking the time.’
    • ‘She compares her Times letters to spitballs launched toward the front of the classroom.’
    • ‘Do you suppose they've ever lobbed a spitball down a row, or accidentally knocked over their coffee?’
    • ‘The straggly, scrawny kid who grabs a guitar in hopes of finally getting some kind of attention from the girls other than sneers and spitballs is no more.’
    • ‘It was then that I realised that Kenderson was a sensitive young boy trapped in a bully's body, each spitball and noogie a cry for help.’
    • ‘At an age when most kids were discovering spitballs and pizza, Michael was becoming the cornerstone of the burgeoning multimillion-dollar family fortune.’
    • ‘If you don't pay attention you'll be covered with spitballs in a second.’
    • ‘Instead, they kept throwing spitballs at the whiteboard.’
  • 2Baseball
    An illegal pitch made with a ball moistened with saliva or another substance to make it move erratically.

    ‘Gaylord Perry succored his Hall of Fame career by often calling upon an illegal spitball pitch.’
    • ‘He caught every type of pitch imaginable, some that are not legal today such as shine balls, spitballs and emery balls, from some of the greatest pitchers of his day.’
    • ‘After getting two strikes on Smith with his spitball, Grimes threw him a fastball, something Smith always handled well.’
    • ‘No official explanation was given for banning the spitball, but for years a variety of objections had been made against it.’
    • ‘Mitchell was a left-handed spitball pitcher who played for six teams - in 1911 and from 1916 to 1932.’

transitive verb

[with object]informal North American
  • Throw out (a suggestion) for discussion.

    • ‘I'm just spitballing a few ideas’
    • ‘Though the film is derivative, the best anime usually is, spitballing liberally from American pop culture - TV's Cowboy Bebop is able proof.’
    • ‘So for someone who spent three years co-writing two series of Spaced in her own blood, sweat and tears, isn't the idea that you can spitball a 100-minute movie on the spot just a little galling?’
    • ‘How many of those parents would choose that if there was an alternative that actually did teach, oh I'm just spitballing here, science and math?’
    • ‘Unlike Michelle Malkin, I haven't called anyone to check out this hypothesis - this is only me spitballing.’
    • ‘I don't know if anything has been filed or might be - I'm just spitballing here.’
    • ‘Kerry needs to knock these spitballs down, of course.’
    • ‘You know, reminds them of those great days when they were first able to get on television and, you know, throw the spitballs around.’