Definition of screwball in English:

screwball

noun

North American
  • 1Baseball
    A ball pitched with reverse spin as compared to a curve ball.

    • ‘You'll learn the rules of offense and defense, and all about fastballs, curveballs, knuckleballs and screwballs.’
    • ‘‘The third strike on every one of them,’ Hubbell once recalled, ‘was a screwball.’’
    • ‘The batters had to wait, watch for the spin and break of the screwball.’
    • ‘Few pitchers in the majors throw screwballs, but the Devil Rays have two in RHPs Jeff Sparks and Jim Mecir.’
    • ‘Many are reluctant to throw that 82 mile-an-hour screwball because they're afraid they're going to be changing the scoreboard with just one bad pitch.’
  • 2informal A crazy or eccentric person.

    ‘she was dating a real screwball’
    • ‘‘Any screwball who says this is blaming employees is doing nothing more than making irresponsible speculation,’ he said.’
    • ‘‘You guys are a bunch of screwballs!’ the girl said and stomped out of the shop.’
    • ‘There was a scary moment when some screwball in an RV wouldn't let us pass on a country road.’
    • ‘Doesn't that make us both just a couple of unworthy screwballs?’
    • ‘Clark may be a lot of things, but a screwball he's not.’
    • ‘By the end of that campaign, he still got 20% of the vote, but apparently some people just like a screwball.’
    • ‘Viewed as a screwball and rebel by his teachers, he was a rare wit who provoked laughter and sometimes rage.’
    • ‘Add in a wacky collection of colorful local screwballs, and this series is a timeless recipe for pure comedy gold.’
    • ‘Even scarier is the prospect of this party coming to anything with the screwballs they have in their ranks.’
    • ‘I am extremely sorry that you have allowed a bunch of screwballs to come between us.’
    madman, madwoman, maniac, lunatic
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adjective

North American
informal
  • 1Crazy; absurd.

    ‘what possessed you to ask a screwball question like that?’
    • ‘Usually this happens when they say something in a very haughty tone that doesn't make any sense, as though I should have anticipated their screwball question.’
    • ‘He says it's all about writing around the idea or inspiration he has in mind, be it a pie in the face, a witty line, screwball situation or piece of music.’
    • ‘Vaudevillian attempts at wacky accents and screwball banter lack rhythm and come off as flat as week-old pop.’
    • ‘You know, there's a screwball quality to you.’
    • ‘If voters had any brains, they would find a way to ensure that she has much more time on her hands to pursue her screwball theories.’
    • ‘However, the question remains: with all these goofy and screwball side effects, how in the heck did it slip by the radar of the FDA?’
    • ‘What screwball idea would they come up with next?’
    • ‘A Service Pilot in one of my flights north had reported to Operations that I was a crazy, screwball pilot and that he was scared to fly along side me.’
    • ‘They aren't all screwball reports by any matter or means.’
    zany, madcap, offbeat, quirky, outlandish, eccentric, idiosyncratic, surreal, ridiculous, nonsensical, crazy, absurd, insane, far out, fantastic, bizarre, peculiar, weird, odd, strange, cranky, freakish
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    1. 1.1 Relating to or denoting a style of fast-moving comedy film involving eccentric characters or ridiculous situations.
      ‘a screwball comedy in which two different couples find themselves sharing a house’
      • ‘Although it sounds like a madcap, screwball comedy, this film is a very touching drama about what lengths a young man will go to protect and care for his mother.’
      • ‘An opportunity to create a classic, timeless satire was squandered by going for a cheap attempt to soften the film into a screwball comedy.’
      • ‘Whether it's action films or screwball comedies, most Hollywood movies focus on beautiful young characters.’
      • ‘Set in 1958, the screwball plot involves false identities and a literary hoax, chock-full of distinctive wisecracks delivered at breakneck speed.’
      • ‘The actor gets to play two characters in this outrageous little comedy, a sort of screwball gangster film.’

Pronunciation

screwball

/ˈskruːbɔːl/