Definition of curveball in English:

curveball

noun

Baseball
  • 1A delivery in which the pitcher causes the ball to deviate from a straight path by imparting spin.

    ‘his three-speed curveball enabled him to win 20 games in two different seasons’
    • ‘His main breaking pitch is a slider, but he mixes in a curveball on occasion.’
    • ‘He must regain confidence in his three pitches - changeup, fastball and curveball.’
    • ‘He also mixes in a curveball, another offspeed pitch he regularly throws for strikes.’
    • ‘He can throw a variety of pitches: two- and four-seam fastballs, curveballs, sliders, knuckle curves and cut fastballs.’
    • ‘He has stopped relying so heavily on his fastball and has begun to use his curveball and changeup as his primary pitches.’
    • ‘He is mixing his pitches better and throwing his curveball, a pitch he abandoned during the first two months.’
    • ‘Unlike some minor league power hitters who struggle with major league curveballs, he can hit breaking pitches as well as fastballs.’
    • ‘My fastball was unhittable, my changeup was devastating, and my curveball dropped off the face of the earth.’
    • ‘In the game, he threw 228 pitches, including fastballs, knucklers, sliders and curveballs.’
    • ‘The statistics don't reflect, for instance, how many times pitchers plunk batters with changeups, curveballs or other off-speed pitches, or how much effort a hitter makes to get out of the way.’
    • ‘His side sessions have revealed the same, old life on his curveball, slider and split-finger pitch.’
    • ‘He wasn't getting the same snap on his curveball, and his control wasn't sharp.’
    • ‘His most successful pitch has been a slow curveball that has been especially tough on right-handed hitters.’
    • ‘Now that his back is feeling better, Estes is better able to locate his pitches, particularly his curveball.’
    • ‘In Webb's case, it may be easier for him to develop his overhand curveball into a high-quality pitch.’
    • ‘In his simulated game, his pitches were down and his curveball had bite.’
    • ‘I knew Jimmy had to go with the curveball for the tenth pitch of the at-bat.’
    • ‘Snyder thinks he's snapping his curveball off too hard and that's causing him to rush his delivery.’
    1. 1.1North American informal Something which is unexpected, surprising, or disruptive.
      ‘there's always a curveball on every mission’
      • ‘No curve balls or surprises from the Fed, boosting rates for the fourth time this year.’
      • ‘Then came another curveball in 1992: She developed cancer.’
      • ‘The whole business has been a volley of curve balls.’
      • ‘When you think that the technique has reached its peak, along comes a curveball in the shape of two CDs that are another landmark in the field of electronic music.’
      • ‘Getting back on track after a slight curveball is what's important.’
      • ‘But as has happened so often in O'Neal's life, she got hit with a curveball.’
      • ‘"There's always a curveball on every mission", he said, while enroute to the South Pole.’
      • ‘He's flexible, and he can handle life's curve balls without throwing a fit.’
      • ‘The plot flows swiftly, it has a few curveballs along the way to keep you guessing, and there are plenty out-of-left field surprises.’
      • ‘His curveball came, though, in the form of a severed Achilles tendon that ended his dreams of making the majors.’
      • ‘It's the kind of film with a curve ball around every corner, so writing about it in any depth is problematic.’

Phrases

  • throw someone a curveball

    • informal Unexpectedly present someone with a challenge or disruption.

      ‘just when you think things are working out, life throws you a curveball’
      • ‘Just when we got the hang of baking with applesauce instead of oil, the diet gurus throw us another curveball: Forget counting fat grams, they say.’
      • ‘"Each time you think you've got one thing figured out, they throw you a curveball," she notes.’
      • ‘Every now and then science throws us a curve ball, a technology at once staggeringly useful and breathtakingly dangerous.’
      • ‘You pride yourself on being ready for every sartorial curveball life throws you.’
      • ‘Just when you think you know what life has in store for you (credit-card payments, antidepressants, death), it throws you a curveball.’
      • ‘Sharing your beliefs with like-minded individuals in discussion groups can give you the spiritual grounding you need to cope with whatever curve ball life may throw your way.’
      • ‘Every once in a while you are thrown a curveball.’
      • ‘Just know that this won't be the last time Mother Nature throws us a curveball.’
      • ‘The ocean always seemed to bring her a sense of calmness and happiness whenever life threw her a curveball.’
      • ‘Planning ahead is a great strategy ... until life throws you a curveball.’
      • ‘What gets me so excited about an album like this is the few curve balls it throws my way.’

Pronunciation

curveball

/ˈkəːvbɔːl/