ball game, ballpark
1. Ball game, an American name for baseball, has formed the core of several colloquial idioms in which it means ‘a state of affairs’, as in a whole new ball game. Because of its wide scope of alternative reference, it seems to fit naturally into BrE and to be understood perfectly well in other countries where baseball is hardly known:

• It was a different ball-game in those days and you bloody well know it —W. J. Burley, 1991.

2. Ballpark, though even more remote culturally, has also entered BrE in the idioms in the right ballpark, meaning ‘approximately correct’, in the same ballpark, meaning ‘of the same kind’ or ‘similar’

• (It is encouraging to see that the recent total is in the same ballpark —financial website, BrE 2003 [OEC])

and ballpark figure, meaning one that is approximate. Colourful though it is in casual conversation, it is certainly to be avoided in more formal contexts.

Modern English usage. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • ballpark — ball‧park [ˈbɔːlpɑːk ǁ ˈbɒːlpɑːrk] also ball park noun 1. ballpark estimate/​figure a number or amount that is approximately correct, though not exact: • A spokeswoman said that the two ministers had discussed a ballpark figure for financial aid …   Financial and business terms

  • ballpark — chiefly N. Amer. ► NOUN 1) a baseball ground. 2) informal a particular area or range. ► ADJECTIVE informal ▪ approximate: a ballpark figure …   English terms dictionary

  • ballpark — ☆ ballpark [bôl′pärk΄ ] n. a stadium, outdoor arena, or other facility for contests between athletic teams, esp. baseball or football teams adj. Informal designating an estimate, figure, etc. that is thought to be fairly accurate designating an… …   English World dictionary

  • ballpark — (n.) baseball stadium, 1899, from (base)ball + PARK (Cf. park) (n.). Figurative sense of acceptable range of approximation first recorded 1954, originally in the jargon of atomic weapons scientists, perhaps originally referring to area within… …   Etymology dictionary

  • ballpark — [[t]bɔ͟ːlpɑː(r)k[/t]] ballparks also ball park 1) N COUNT A ballpark is a park or stadium where baseball is played. 2) ADJ: ADJ n A ballpark figure or ballpark estimate is an approximate figure or estimate. I can t give you anything more than… …   English dictionary

  • ballpark — I = ball park ballpark UK [ˈbɔːlˌpɑː(r)k] / US [ˈbɔlˌpɑrk] or ball park UK / US noun [countable] Word forms ballpark : singular ballpark plural ballparks mainly American a place where baseball games are played • in the ballpark II UK… …   English dictionary

  • ballpark — I. noun Date: 1897 1. a park in which ball games (as baseball) are played 2. a range (as of prices or views) within which comparison or compromise is possible II. adjective Etymology: from the phrase in the ballpark Date: 1967 approximately… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • ballpark — /bawl pahrk /, n. 1. a tract of land where ball games, esp. baseball, are played. 2. a baseball stadium. 3. in the ballpark, Informal. within reasonable, acceptable, or expected limits: The price may go up another $10, but that s still in the… …   Universalium

  • ballpark — 1. noun a) A field, stadium or park where ball, especially baseball, is played. Let’s get in the ballpark, then worry about the fine details. b) The general …   Wiktionary

  • ballpark — /ˈbɔlpak / (say bawlpahk) –noun 1. US a park in which games, especially baseball, are played. –adjective 2. Colloquial broadly estimated: a ballpark figure. –phrase Colloquial 3. in the ballpark, within acceptable limits; relatively close to a… …   Australian English dictionary