Definitions

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

  • n. A mass of soft, wet snow packed into a ball that can be thrown, as in play.
  • n. Chiefly Southern U.S. A cup of crushed or shaved ice flavored with colored syrup.
  • n. Any of several plants having rounded clusters of white flowers, as the guelder rose and certain species of the arrowwood.
  • intransitive v. To grow rapidly in significance, importance, or size: problems that snowballed by the hour.
  • intransitive v. To throw snowballs.
  • transitive v. To cause to grow or increase rapidly.
  • transitive v. To throw snowballs at.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. 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.
  • n. A cocktail made from lemonade and advocaat.
  • n. Something that snowballs (grows rapidly out of control).
  • n. A sex act involving passing ejaculated semen from one person's mouth to another's.
  • v. To rapidly grow out of proportion or control.
  • v. To play at throwing snowballs.
  • v. (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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A round mass of snow pressed or roller together, or anything resembling such a mass.
  • n. The Guelder-rose.
  • n. a shrub of the genus Viburnum, having large clusters of white flowers.
  • transitive v. To pelt with snowballs; to throw snowballs at.
  • intransitive v. To throw snowballs.
  • intransitive v. 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 The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A ball of snow; a round mass of snow pressed or rolled together.
  • n. The cultivated form of the shrub Viburnum Opulus; the guelder-rose.
  • n. In cookery:
  • n. 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.
  • n. White of egg beaten stiff and put in spoonfuls to float on the top of custard.
  • n. Rice boiled, pressed into shape in a cup, and variously served.
  • To pelt with snowballs.
  • To throw snowballs.
  • n. A delicate pudding steamed in a mold, then rolled in powdered sugar, and served with wine sauce.

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

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

Etymologies

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

Examples

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

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

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  • 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.

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

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

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  • 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.

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

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  • 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

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  • 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.

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

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