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See also: cannon ball


A stack of cannonballs


  • (file)

Etymology 1[edit]

cannon +‎ ball from being a round ball that is fired from a cannon.


cannonball (plural cannonballs)

  1. (military, artillery)
    1. A spherical projectile fired from a smoothbore cannon
      Synonyms: solid shot, ball, round shot
    2. An explosive-filled hollow iron sphere fused through a hole and intended to explode at a calculated distance rather than explode on impact.

Etymology 2[edit]

From behaving like a cannonball fired from a cannon


cannonball (plural cannonballs)

  1. (diving) The act of running and jumping in a flexed position into a swimming pool to create a large splash, mimicking the flight and shape of a cannonball.
    • The New Yorker, 30 August 2004, p.40
    • The cannonball could be called the S.U.V. of the pool — oversized, brash, hormonally hardwired.
  2. (slang, figuratively) Something that moves fast.
    Meetings of the model train club always begin with the song "Wabash Cannonball".
  3. (tennis) A served ball that travels with great speed and describes little or no arc in flight.
Derived terms[edit]
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cannonball (third-person singular simple present cannonballs, present participle cannonballing, simple past and past participle cannonballed)

  1. To jump/dive into water doing a cannonball landing.
    He cannonballed into the pool, drenching us all.
  2. To careen; to move rapidly




  1. Yelled when jumping/diving into the water, doing a cannonball landing.