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See also: cannon ball


A stack of cannonballs


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


  • IPA(key): /ˈkænənˌbɔːl/
  • (file)


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.
  2. (diving) The act of jumping (typically into a swimming pool) with the legs bent and the arms wrapped around the knees 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.
  3. (slang, figuratively) Something that moves fast, especially a fast train.
    Meetings of the model train club always begin with the song "Wabash Cannonball".
  4. (tennis) A served ball that travels with great speed and describes little or no arc in flight.

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cannonball (third-person singular simple present cannonballs, present participle cannonballing, simple past and past participle cannonballed)

  1. (intransitive) To jump or dive into water, performing a cannonball landing.
    He cannonballed into the pool, drenching us all.
  2. (intransitive) To career; to move rapidly.
    The car cannonballed past.