Modernmod•ern (mod′ərn),USA pronunciation adj.
- of or pertaining to present and recent time;
not ancient or remote: modern city life.
- characteristic of present and recent time;
not antiquated or obsolete: modern viewpoints.
- of or pertaining to the historical period following the Middle Ages: modern European history.
- of, pertaining to, or characteristic of contemporary styles of art, literature, music, etc., that reject traditionally accepted or sanctioned forms and emphasize individual experimentation and sensibility.
- (cap.) new (def. 12).
- [Typography.]noting or descriptive of a font of numerals in which the body aligns on the baseline, as 1234567890. Cf. old style (def. 3).
- a person of modern times.
- a person whose views and tastes are modern.
- [Print.]a type style differentiated from old style by heavy vertical strokes and straight serifs.
Ballball1 (bôl),USA pronunciation n.
- a spherical or approximately spherical body or shape;
sphere: He rolled the piece of paper into a ball.
- a round or roundish body, of various sizes and materials, either hollow or solid, for use in games, as baseball, football, tennis, or golf.
- a game played with a ball, esp. baseball: The boys are out playing ball.
- [Baseball.]a pitched ball, not swung at by the batter, that does not pass over home plate between the batter's shoulders and knees.
- a solid, usually spherical projectile for a cannon, rifle, pistol, etc., as distinguished from a shell.
- projectiles, esp. bullets, collectively.
- any part of a thing, esp. of the human body, that is rounded or protuberant: the ball of the thumb.
- a round mass of food, as of chopped meat, dough, or candy.
- (vulgar). a testis.
- balls, Slang (vulgar).
- nonsense (often used as an interjection).
- bolus (def. 1).
- [Hort.]a compact mass of soil covering the roots of an uprooted tree or other plant.
- [Literary.]a planetary or celestial body, esp. the earth.
- (in a metric space) the set of points whose distance from the zero element is less than, or less than or equal to, a specified number.
- carry the ball, to assume the responsibility;
bear the burden: You can always count on him to carry the ball in an emergency.
- drop the ball, to make a mistake or miss an opportunity at a critical moment.
- keep the ball rolling, to continue or give renewed vigor to an activity already under way: When their interest lagged, he tried to keep the ball rolling.
- on the ball:
- alert and efficient or effective: If you don't get on the ball, you'll be fired.
- indicating intelligence or ability: The tests show your students don't have much on the ball. The new manager has a lot on the ball.
- play ball:
- to begin or continue playing a game.
- to start or continue any action.
- to work together;
cooperate: union leaders suspected of playing ball with racketeers.
- run with the ball, to assume responsibility or work enthusiastically: If management approves the concept, we'll run with the ball.
- start the ball rolling, to put into operation;
begin: The recreation director started the ball rolling by having all the participants introduce themselves.
- to make into a ball (sometimes fol. by up): The children were balling up snow to make a snowman.
- to wind into balls: to ball cotton.
- (vulgar). to have sexual intercourse with.
- to form or gather into a ball: When the spun sugar balls, the candy has cooked sufficiently.
- (vulgar). to have sexual intercourse.
- ball the jack:
- to act with speed.
- to stake everything on one attempt.
- ball up, to make or become utterly confused;
muddle: The records had been all balled up by inefficient file clerks.
Chainchain (chān),USA pronunciation n.
- a series of objects connected one after the other, usually in the form of a series of metal rings passing through one another, used either for various purposes requiring a flexible tie with high tensile strength, as for hauling, supporting, or confining, or in various ornamental and decorative forms.
- Often, chains. something that binds or restrains;
bond: the chain of timidity; the chains of loyalty.
- shackles or fetters: to place a prisoner in chains.
servitude: to live one's life in chains.
- [Naut.](in a sailing vessel) the area outboard at the foot of the shrouds of a mast: the customary position of the leadsman in taking soundings.
- See tire chain.
- a series of things connected or following in succession: a chain of events.
- a range of mountains.
- a number of similar establishments, as banks, theaters, or hotels, under one ownership or management.
- two or more atoms of the same element, usually carbon, attached as in a chain. Cf. ring1 (def. 17).
- [Survey., Civ. Engin.]
- a distance-measuring device consisting of a chain of 100 links of equal length, having a total length either of 66 ft. (20 m)(Gunter's chain or surveyor's chain) or of 100 ft. (30 m)(engineer's chain).
- a unit of length equal to either of these.
- a graduated steel tape used for distance measurements. Abbr.: ch
- See totally ordered set.
- [Football.]a chain 10 yd. (9 m) in length for determining whether a first down has been earned.
- drag the chain, [Australian Slang.]to lag behind or shirk one's fair share of work.
- in the chains, standing outboard on the channels or in some similar place to heave the lead to take soundings.
- to fasten or secure with a chain: to chain a dog to a post.
- to confine or restrain: His work chained him to his desk.
- to measure (a distance on the ground) with a chain or tape.
- to link (related items, as records in a file or portions of a program) together, esp. so that items can be run in sequence.
- to make (a chain stitch or series of chain stitches), as in crocheting.
- to form or make a chain.
Curtaincur•tain (kûr′tn),USA pronunciation n.
- a hanging piece of fabric used to shut out the light from a window, adorn a room, increase privacy, etc.
- a movable or folding screen used for similar purposes.
- [Chiefly New Eng.]a window shade.
- a set of hanging drapery for concealing all or part of the stage or set from the view of the audience.
- the act or time of raising or opening a curtain at the start of a performance: an 8:30 curtain.
- the end of a scene or act indicated by the closing or falling of a curtain: first-act curtain.
- an effect, line, or plot solution at the conclusion of a performance: a strong curtain; weak curtain.
- music signaling the end of a radio or television performance.
- (used as a direction in a script of a play to indicate that a scene or act is concluded.)
- anything that shuts off, covers, or conceals: a curtain of artillery fire.
- a relatively flat or featureless extent of wall between two pavilions or the like.
- [Fort.]the part of a wall or rampart connecting two bastions, towers, or the like.
- curtains, the end;
death, esp. by violence: It looked like curtains for another mobster.
- draw the curtain on or over:
- to bring to a close: to draw the curtain on a long career of public service.
- to keep secret.
- lift the curtain on:
- to commence;
- to make known or public;
disclose: to lift the curtain on a new scientific discovery.
- to provide, shut off, conceal, or adorn with, or as if with, a curtain.
Wallwall (wôl),USA pronunciation n.
- any of various permanent upright constructions having a length much greater than the thickness and presenting a continuous surface except where pierced by doors, windows, etc.: used for shelter, protection, or privacy, or to subdivide interior space, to support floors, roofs, or the like, to retain earth, to fence in an area, etc.
- Usually, walls. a rampart raised for defensive purposes.
- an immaterial or intangible barrier, obstruction, etc., suggesting a wall: a wall of prejudice.
- a wall-like, enclosing part, thing, mass, etc.: a wall of fire; a wall of troops.
- an embankment to prevent flooding, as a levee or sea wall.
- the Wall. See Berlin Wall.
- the outermost film or layer of structural material protecting, surrounding, and defining the physical limits of an object: the wall of a blood cell.
- the side of a level or drift.
- the overhanging or underlying side of a vein;
a hanging wall or footwall.
- climb the walls or climb walls, to become tense or frantic: climbing the walls with boredom.
- drive or push to the wall, to force into a desperate situation;
humiliate or ruin completely: Not content with merely winning the match, they used every opportunity to push the inferior team to the wall.
- go over the wall, to break out of prison: Roadblocks have been set up in an effort to capture several convicts who went over the wall.
- go to the wall:
- to be defeated in a conflict or competition;
- to fail in business, esp. to become bankrupt.
- to be put aside or forgotten.
- to take an extreme and determined position or measure: I'd go to the wall to stop him from resigning.
- hit the wall, (of long-distance runners) to reach a point in a race, usually after 20 miles, when the body's fuels are virtually depleted and willpower becomes crucial to be able to finish.
- off the wall:
- beyond the realm of acceptability or reasonableness: The figure you quoted for doing the work is off the wall.
- markedly out of the ordinary;
bizarre: Some of the clothes in the fashion show were too off the wall for the average customer.
- up against the wall:
- placed against a wall to be executed by a firing squad.
- in a crucial or critical position, esp. one in which defeat or failure seems imminent: Unless sales improve next month, the company will be up against the wall.
- up the wall, into an acutely frantic, frustrated, or irritated state: The constant tension in the office is driving everyone up the wall.
- of or pertaining to a wall: wall space.
- growing against or on a wall: wall plants; wall cress.
- situated, placed, or installed in or on a wall: wall oven; a wall safe.
- to enclose, shut off, divide, protect, border, etc., with or as if with a wall (often fol. by in or off): to wall the yard; to wall in the play area; He is walled in by lack of opportunity.
- to seal or fill (a doorway or other opening) with a wall: to wall an unused entrance.
- to seal or entomb (something or someone) within a wall (usually fol. by up): The workmen had walled up the cat quite by mistake.
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