Definition of screwball in US English:

screwball

noun

North American
  • 1Baseball
    A pitched ball that moves in a direction opposite to that of a curveball.

    • ‘You'll learn the rules of offense and defense, and all about fastballs, curveballs, knuckleballs and screwballs.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The batters had to wait, watch for the spin and break of the screwball.’
    • ‘‘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.’
  • 2informal A crazy or eccentric person.

    • ‘There was a scary moment when some screwball in an RV wouldn't let us pass on a country road.’
    • ‘‘You guys are a bunch of screwballs!’ the girl said and stomped out of the shop.’
    • ‘By the end of that campaign, he still got 20% of the vote, but apparently some people just like a screwball.’
    • ‘‘Any screwball who says this is blaming employees is doing nothing more than making irresponsible speculation,’ he said.’
    • ‘Add in a wacky collection of colorful local screwballs, and this series is a timeless recipe for pure comedy gold.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Even scarier is the prospect of this party coming to anything with the screwballs they have in their ranks.’
    • ‘Clark may be a lot of things, but a screwball he's not.’
    • ‘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.

    • ‘Vaudevillian attempts at wacky accents and screwball banter lack rhythm and come off as flat as week-old pop.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘You know, there's a screwball quality to you.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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?’
    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.
      • ‘The actor gets to play two characters in this outrageous little comedy, a sort of screwball gangster film.’
      • ‘Set in 1958, the screwball plot involves false identities and a literary hoax, chock-full of distinctive wisecracks delivered at breakneck speed.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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

/ˈskro͞oˌbôl//ˈskruˌbɔl/