One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A Basque or Spanish game played in a walled court with a ball and basket-like rackets attached to the hand.
- ‘We passed what looked like three-sided open-air squash courts - frontons, he said, built by Basque settlers who wanted to play pelota in their new home.’
- ‘Just like in tennis the server must land the pelota in the serve box to start a point.’
- ‘Pelota Mixteca games are held in August on Sundays at 5pm and on festival days.’
- ‘Basque immigrants began building pelota courts soon after they arrived in the United States, and their love of the sport is considered an important factor in unifying the American Basque community.’
- ‘After watching a game of pelota, I sat on my balcony and got drunk on a dramatic view of rocky ridges calmed down by sheep, cows and farmers.’
- 1.1count noun The ball used in pelota.
- ‘The rock hard pelota crushed the side of his head with a 100 mile per hour impact.’
- ‘It's played with a pelota, a rock-hard ball five-sixths the size of a baseball, and with the explosive bounce of a golf ball.’
- ‘Ramuntcho is a Basque smuggler and player of pelota, the Basque national game, and the story concerns his adventures and those of his fiancée, Gracieuse.’
- ‘You can be a world-class sprinter, and you still have no chance to chase down the pelota.’
- ‘Hit the pelota (Spanish for ball) with such force that the opposing team can't return it with their cestas.’
Spanish, literally ‘ball’, augmentative of pella, from Latin pila ‘ball’.
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