Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Baseball A pitched ball that curves in the direction opposite to that of a normal curve ball.
  • n. Slang An eccentric, impulsively whimsical, or irrational person.
  • adj. Slang Impulsively whimsical; eccentric: That screwball proposal won't work.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A pitch thrown with added pressure by the index finger and a twisting wrist motion resulting in a motion to the right when thrown by a right-handed pitcher.
  • n. One who behaves in a crazy manner.
  • adj. Crazy, offbeat, bizarre, zany, or weird.

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

  • n. a whimsically eccentric person
  • adj. foolish; totally unsound
  • n. a pitch with reverse spin that curves toward the side of the plate from which it was thrown

Etymologies

From screw + ball (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Quote: We had some pitchers that threw what we called a screwball in those days, but that was a hard pitch to throw, and it was hard on your arm.

    The Neyer/James Guide To Pitchers

  • The slider, fastball, and the screwball were all on tonight.

    USATODAY.com

  • One might assume that the incurve is simply the reverse of the outcurve, which would be the reverse of the curveball … which is to say, a screwball.

    The Neyer/James Guide To Pitchers

  • I had a variety of curves—threw a so-called screwball or indrop, too—and I used whatever delivery seemed best.

    The Neyer/James Guide To Pitchers

  • According to The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, the incurve was the “pitch now known as a screwball.”

    The Neyer/James Guide To Pitchers

  • "Or you call a screwball that is supposed to be inside but it ends up outside.

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  • None of it makes strict sense, which is why it's called screwball, but in its own crazy way

    Top Stories - Google News

  • When was the era of the wonderful "screwball" movie comedies?

    Lloyd Garver: Big Money, Big Sports

  • Daffy was the first of the new breed of "screwball" characters that emerged in the late 1930s.

    Cartoons That Never Happened: THE DAFFY DUCK SHOW

  • Denouncing the portly preacher as a "screwball" and a "wacko," the queen defended the British record on human rights and urged the home secretary to look into the circumstances under which Sharpton was admitted to the country ...

    Mouth Of The Thames

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