from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A mass of soft, wet snow packed into a ball that can be thrown, as in play.
  • noun Any of several plants having rounded clusters of white flowers, especially certain cultivated viburnums.
  • noun Chiefly Southern US A snow cone.
  • intransitive verb To grow rapidly in significance, importance, or size.
  • intransitive verb To throw snowballs.
  • intransitive verb To cause to grow or increase rapidly.
  • intransitive verb To throw snowballs at.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A delicate pudding steamed in a mold, then rolled in powdered sugar, and served with wine sauce.
  • noun A ball of snow; a round mass of snow pressed or rolled together.
  • noun The cultivated form of the shrub Viburnum Opulus; the guelder-rose.
  • noun In cookery:
  • noun A pudding made by putting rice which has been swelled in milk round a pared and cored apple, tying up in a cloth, and boiling well.
  • noun White of egg beaten stiff and put in spoonfuls to float on the top of custard.
  • noun Rice boiled, pressed into shape in a cup, and variously served.
  • To pelt with snowballs.
  • To throw snowballs.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A round mass of snow pressed or roller together, or anything resembling such a mass.
  • noun (Bot.) The Guelder-rose.
  • noun (Bot.) a shrub of the genus Viburnum, having large clusters of white flowers.
  • noun (Bot.) the Guelder-rose.
  • noun [Colloq.] no chance; an infinitesimal chance.
  • transitive verb To pelt with snowballs; to throw snowballs at.
  • intransitive verb To throw snowballs.
  • intransitive verb To increase in magnitude at an accelerating rate, achieving large proportions; -- by analogy with a snowball rolling down a steep hill, causing a large snow slide.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A ball of snow, usually one made in the hand and thrown for amusement in a snowball fight; also a larger ball of snow made by rolling a snowball around in snow that sticks to it and increases its diameter.
  • noun A cocktail made from lemonade and advocaat.
  • noun figuratively Something that snowballs (grows rapidly out of control).
  • noun A sex act involving passing ejaculated semen from one person's mouth to another's.
  • verb intransitive To rapidly grow out of proportion or control.
  • verb intransitive To play at throwing snowballs.
  • verb intransitive (sexual slang) To receive a man's ejaculate in one's mouth, and then to pass it back and forth between one's mouth and his.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun snow pressed into a ball for throwing (playfully)
  • verb increase or accumulate at a rapidly accelerating rate
  • noun plant having heads of fragrant white trumpet-shaped flowers; grows in sandy arid regions
  • noun ball of ice cream covered with coconut and usually chocolate sauce
  • noun ball of crushed ice with fruit syrup
  • verb throw snowballs at


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English snowball, snawball, equivalent to snow +‎ ball.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word snowball.


  • Maier's photographs to a blog , which he describes as a snowball that just started rolling and has just been building ever since.

    The Guardian World News Hermione Hoby 2011

  • “Someday, I’d like another cat,” she continues, the word snowball resonating for her too with memories.

    Water Witches Chris Bohjalian 1995

  • You would find, rather, that with every single step you take, the need for further steps increases in snowball-like fashion.

    Contemporary Mythologies 2009

  • I'm not a soldier -- I don't even like getting in snowball fights -- so I can only look at this film as a movie fan.

    Rabid Rewind: The Hurt Locker 2010

  • The snowball is rolling down the hill, gaining strength.

    Yahoo Plans New Name and Features for MyBlogLog 2007

  • While it's common to think that the snowball is getting larger, it is also true that, for any specific instant of time, the snowball cannot be larger than its present size.

    Backing Into an Evidentiary Standard for ID 2007

  • Lets see now, if the mass of the snowball is 'm,' and its velocity,

    Vernon L. Smith - Autobiography 2003

  • When I turn a corner in snowball days, the boys with bulging pockets see a head held high and a step unquickened, but I know that I cringe inwardly; and this private mortification I set down against old

    The Promised Land 1912

  • As I walked down at this place I was walled on both sides by those inaccessible high rocky barren hills wch hangs over ones head in some places and appears very terrible, and from them springs many Little Currents of water from the sides and Clefts, wch trickle down to some Lower part where it runs swiftly over the stones and shelves in the way, wch makes a pleasant Rush and murmuring noise, and Like a snowball is Encreased by Each spring trickling down on either side of those hills, and so descends into the bottoms wch are a moorish ground in wch in many places the waters stand, and so forme some of those Lakes as it did here.

    Through England on a Side Saddle in the Time of William and Mary 1888

  • The snowball is rolling so fast now, let’s just continue watching him throw himself in front it.

    Think Progress » Frist Stock Sale Conflicts With Senate Ethics Rules 2005


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Animal Farm pig

    January 27, 2008

  • In wordplay, concatenate words increasing in length to form another word: e.g., temperamentally --> t & em & per & amen & tally.

    --Chris Cole, Wordplay

    May 23, 2008

  • slang for mouth-to-mouth exchange of semen through kissing (e.g. following fellatio to completion)

    August 26, 2008