from The Century Dictionary.
- noun In architecture, an ornament resembling a ball placed in a circular flower, the three petals of which form a cup round it.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
- noun (Arch.) An ornament resembling a ball placed in a circular flower, the petals of which form a cup round it, -- usually inserted in a hollow molding.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun architecture An
ornamentresembling a ballplaced in a circular flower, whose petalsform a cuparound it; usually inserted in a hollow moulding.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
At either end of the two tiers an ornament not unlike the ball-flower of the Decorated style is carried up the jamb, and a bold corbel-table runs up the sides of the gable, under the apex of which there is a trefoil panel, while the whole is crowned by an elaborate cross.
This chapel is profusely enriched with ball-flower moulding, both inside and on the side next the ambulatory.
 The ball-flower here as well as that in the vestry differs from that in the neighbourhood, as there is a curious little side-twist or kink in it.
Against the eastern wall are portions of a beautiful frieze, with ball-flower ornament, and many shields bearing traces of rich colour.
The arch over the tomb is crocketed, and is enriched with a profusion of ball-flower ornament in the moulding.
It is richly decorated with heads and the ball-flower ornament which is characteristic of fourteenth-century work.
In the mouldings of the arched canopy the ball-flower ornament is again in evidence, and behind the tomb a carving of the crucifixion is still visible, though nearly obliterated by the chisel of the Puritans.
The central tower of the cathedral, that fine example of decorated work, covered with its profusion of ball-flower ornament, was built by, or at any rate during the episcopate of, Giles de Braose (1200-1215), an ardent opponent of King John.
Below this finial is an empty niche with a kind of ball-flower ornament at the base.
The ball-flower, consisting of a ball inclosed by three or four leaves, somewhat resembling a rosebud, is the favourite ornament, and a four-leaved flower is often used.