Definition of screwball in English:

screwball

noun

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

    • ‘‘The third strike on every one of them,’ Hubbell once recalled, ‘was a screwball.’’
    • ‘Few pitchers in the majors throw screwballs, but the Devil Rays have two in RHPs Jeff Sparks and Jim Mecir.’
    • ‘You'll learn the rules of offense and defense, and all about fastballs, curveballs, knuckleballs and screwballs.’
    • ‘The batters had to wait, watch for the spin and break of the screwball.’
    • ‘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’
    • ‘Even scarier is the prospect of this party coming to anything with the screwballs they have in their ranks.’
    • ‘Add in a wacky collection of colorful local screwballs, and this series is a timeless recipe for pure comedy gold.’
    • ‘There was a scary moment when some screwball in an RV wouldn't let us pass on a country road.’
    • ‘I am extremely sorry that you have allowed a bunch of screwballs to come between us.’
    • ‘Doesn't that make us both just a couple of unworthy screwballs?’
    • ‘Viewed as a screwball and rebel by his teachers, he was a rare wit who provoked laughter and sometimes rage.’
    • ‘‘You guys are a bunch of screwballs!’ the girl said and stomped out of the shop.’
    • ‘Clark may be a lot of things, but a screwball he's not.’
    • ‘‘Any screwball who says this is blaming employees is doing nothing more than making irresponsible speculation,’ he said.’
    • ‘By the end of that campaign, he still got 20% of the vote, but apparently some people just like a screwball.’
    madman, madwoman, maniac, lunatic
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adjective

North American
informal
  • 1Crazy; absurd.

    ‘what possessed you to ask a screwball question like that?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They aren't all screwball reports by any matter or means.’
    • ‘What screwball idea would they come up with next?’
    • ‘Vaudevillian attempts at wacky accents and screwball banter lack rhythm and come off as flat as week-old pop.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You know, there's a screwball quality to you.’
    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’
      • ‘The actor gets to play two characters in this outrageous little comedy, a sort of screwball gangster film.’
      • ‘Whether it's action films or screwball comedies, most Hollywood movies focus on beautiful young characters.’
      • ‘An opportunity to create a classic, timeless satire was squandered by going for a cheap attempt to soften the film into a screwball comedy.’
      • ‘Set in 1958, the screwball plot involves false identities and a literary hoax, chock-full of distinctive wisecracks delivered at breakneck speed.’
      • ‘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.’

Pronunciation

screwball

/ˈskruːbɔːl/