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From Middle English bal, ball, balle, from Old English *beall, *bealla (round object, ball) or Old Norse bǫllr (a ball), both from Proto-Germanic *balluz, *ballô (ball), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰoln- (bubble), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰel- (to blow, inflate, swell). Cognate with Old Saxon ball, Dutch bal, Old High German bal, ballo (German Ball (ball); Ballen (bale)). Related forms in Romance are borrowings from Germanic. See also balloon, bale.

A basketball

Crimean Tatar

Borrowed from French balle (ball).


From Old Irish ball, from Proto-Celtic *ballo-, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰel- (to blow, swell, inflate); compare English ball, Greek φαλλός (phallós, penis).

Middle English

From Old English *beall.

Norwegian Bokmål

From Old Norse bǫllr.

Norwegian Nynorsk

From Old Norse bǫllr.

Scottish Gaelic

From Old Irish ball m (limb, member, organ; member of community; part, portion, piece; article, object; place, spot; passage (of a book); spot, mark, blemish) (compare Irish ball), from Proto-Celtic *ballo-, from Proto-Indo-European *bhel- (to blow, swell, inflate) (compare English ball, Ancient Greek φαλλός (phallós, penis)).