Definition of on the ball in US English:

on the ball

phrase

  • 1Alert to new ideas, methods, and trends.

    ‘maintaining contact with customers keeps me on the ball’
    • ‘Luckily he was more on the ball and able to sort me out a disk.’
    • ‘I wish we'd been on the ball enough just to get a copy of the swimming pool skit which was the only one that got edited, but we had more on our mind at the time.’
    • ‘She told me I was on the ball, and I gleefully admitted to having counted down the days!’
    • ‘As it happens his second email indicated that he was on the ball and I needn't have been so concerned.’
    • ‘He warned that the players who step in will have to be on the ball.’
    • ‘If the fault in this case lies with officials who weren't on the ball, let's see someone deal with them.’
    • ‘If you are a solicitor, for example, you need to sound on the ball.’
    • ‘There was also a commentator who seemed rather on the ball.’
    • ‘It seems that Jim is really on the ball these days.’
    • ‘When a customer complains, you need to be on the ball and get things done for them.’
    1. 1.1 Indicating competence, alertness, or intelligence.
      ‘a woman like that, with so much on the ball’
      • ‘He's also pushing eighty five, and while totally on the ball, surely not as sharp as he was in 1957.’
      • ‘I was even more amazed to find him personable, intelligent and on the ball.’
      alert, quick-witted, sharp, bright, quick, keen, perceptive, wide awake, responsive, agile, acute, astute
      View synonyms