Ballpark figure



ballpark figure

noun phrase

A rough numerical approximation: I’d say forty, but that’s a ballpark figure (1960s+)
An acceptable, roughly accurate approximation, as in I know you can’t tell me the exact cost; just give me a ballpark figure. This term alludes to a baseball field, which is always an enclosed space. The expression is basically an extension of the somewhat earlier in the ballpark, meaning within a reasonable range, and out of the ballpark, beyond a reasonable range. [ ; late 1960s ]

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