AskDefine | Define snowball

Dictionary Definition



1 plant having heads of fragrant white trumpet-shaped flowers; grows in sandy arid regions [syn: sweet sand verbena, Abronia elliptica]
2 ball of ice cream covered with coconut and usually chocolate sauce
3 ball of crushed ice with fruit syrup
4 snow pressed into a ball for throwing (playfully)


1 increase or accumulate at a rapidly accelerating rate
2 throw snowballs at

User Contributed Dictionary



  • a UK /ˈsnəʊbɔːl/, /"sn@UbO:l/
  • a US , /ˈsnoʊbɔːl/, /"sn@UbO:l/


  1. 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.
  2. A cocktail made from lemonade and advocaat.
ball of snow


  1. To rapidly grow out of proportion or control.
    The high unemployment rates quickly snowballed into a major budget problem for the government.
  2. To play at throwing snowballs.
  3. (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.

Derived terms


rapidly grow out of proportion or control
play at throwing snowballs
sexual slang: pass ejaculate from mouth to mouth

Extensive Definition

thumb|100px|Ambrogio Lorenzetti's Winter A snowball is a spherical object made from frozen water or snow, usually created by scooping snow with the hands, and compacting it into a roughly fist-sized ball. The snowball is often used to engage in games, such as snowball fights. The pressure exerted by the hands on the snow is determinant for the final result. Reduced pressure leads to a light and soft snowball. A higher pressure causes the snow to melt, turning into liquid water. Once the pressure is removed, the water turns again into ice, leading to a more compact and hard snowball called an iceball, which eventually can be considered harmful during a snowball fight. The process of melting and refreezing is called regelation.
A snowball may also be a large ball of snow formed by rolling a smaller snowball on a snow-covered surface. The smaller snowball grows by picking up additional snow as it rolls. The terms "snowball effect" and "snowballing" are named after this process. This technique is often used to create snowmen.

Current World Record

Students of Michigan Technological University rolled the World's Largest Snowball on February 10, 2006. It was 21 feet 3 inches in circumference (81 inches or 2.06 metres in diameter).


The snowball occasionally occurs as a charge in heraldry.


snowball in Czech: Sněhová koule
snowball in German: Schneeball (Schnee)
snowball in French: Boule de neige
snowball in Hebrew: כדור שלג
snowball in Dutch: Sneeuwbal (sneeuw)
snowball in Norwegian Nynorsk: Snøball
snowball in Polish: Śnieżka (kulka)
snowball in Simple English: Snowball
snowball in Finnish: Lumipallo
snowball in Swedish: Snöboll

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

accrue, accumulate, accumulation, acervation, advance, agglomerate, agglomeration, aggregate, aggregation, amassment, appreciate, augment, avalanche, ball, balloon, bead, blizzard, bloat, boom, breed, broaden, build, bulk, chunk, congeries, conglobation, conglobulate, conglomerate, conglomeration, crescendo, crystal, cumulation, develop, dilate, distend, driven snow, enlarge, expand, extend, fill out, flake, flurry, gain, gain strength, gathering, get ahead, globe, glomeration, go up, gob, granular snow, greaten, grow, hunk, igloo, increase, intensify, lump, mantle of snow, mass, mogul, mount, multiply, mushroom, proliferate, puff up, rise, run up, shoot up, slosh, slush, snow, snow banner, snow bed, snow blanket, snow blast, snow fence, snow flurry, snow roller, snow slush, snow squall, snow wreath, snow-crystal, snowbank, snowbridge, snowcap, snowdrift, snowfall, snowfield, snowflake, snowland, snowman, snowscape, snowshed, snowslide, snowslip, snowstorm, sphere, spherify, spread, stockpile, strengthen, stretch, swell, tumefy, upsurge, wad, wax, wet snow, widen
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