[pin-bawl] /ˈpɪnˌbɔl/

any of various games played on a sloping, glass-topped table presenting a field of colorful, knoblike target and rails, the object usually being to shoot a , driven by a spring, up a side passage and cause it to roll back down against these projections and through channels, which electrically flash or ring and record the score.


as a type of game, 1907, from pin (n.) + ball (n.1). Originally of types of open-air bowling and basketball variation where the goal was to knock down a pin or pins. Earlier still it meant “pin-cushion.” The tabletop pin-ball machine is attested from 1937.

also pin-ball, game played on a sloping surface, 1911, from pin (n.) + ball (n.1). Earlier it meant “a pincushion” (1803).


To move about erratically: Robin Williams’ comedy routines pinball from one manic impression to another

[1980s+; fr the game of pinball, found by 1911, in which a spring-propelled ball bounces about among obstacles]


Read Also:

  • Pinballer

    [pin-baw-ler] /ˈpɪnˌbɔ lər/ noun 1. a person who plays machines, especially regularly or habitually.

  • Pinball-machine

    noun 1. the tablelike, usually coin-operated machine on which pinball is played.

  • Pinbol

    language, games A decision table language for controlling pinball machines used at Atari. PINBOL included a multitasking executive and an interpreter that worked on data structures compiled from condition:action lists. (1996-11-03)

  • Pinbone

    [pin-bohn] /ˈpɪnˌboʊn/ noun 1. the hipbone, especially in a four-footed animal.

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