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a tract of land where ball games, especially baseball, are played.
a baseball stadium.
Informal. being an approximation, based on an educated guess:
Give me a ballpark figure on our total expenses for next year.
in the ballpark, Informal. within reasonable, acceptable, or expected limits:
The price may go up another $10, but that’s still in the ballpark.
Contemporary Examples

Fellow Republican Congressman Joe Barton is fighting for the lines to be drawn so that he gets a ballpark in his district.
Lawmakers Pledge to Reform, But Gerrymandering Keeps Getting Worse John Avlon February 18, 2012

Happy birthday Wrigley Field, but are you too beautiful of a ballpark?
100 Years of Wrigley Field: Are the Chicago Cubs Horrible Because of the Ballpark? Luke Epplin March 27, 2014

All in all, he probably spends in the ballpark of $5,000 a month on my lifestyle.
My Sugar Daddy Melissa Beech November 29, 2008

Ruth signed a bunch of autographs, then went to the ballpark and hit a home run, his 53rd.
Babe Ruth’s Summer of Records Bill Bryson September 28, 2013

Still, the numbers give you a rough idea of the ballpark expenditure.
See How Much It’ll Cost to Book Your Favorite Musical Act, From Taylor Swift to Phosphorescent Marlow Stern May 20, 2014

As far as the NSA is concerned, they might not be in that ballpark at all.
How the NSA Recruits in a Post-Snowden World Joshua Kopstein January 16, 2014

Right now the healthcare systems is like someone using words that are in some sort of ballpark but don’t quite fit.
Why Do We Want Prices in Health Care? Megan McArdle February 26, 2013

Among The Fighter’s virtues is the absence of a single reference to the ballpark or its tenants.
Enough With the Boston Movies! Ben Crair December 8, 2010

His ballpark estimate includes dedicated equipment, software and payroll system modifications.
E-Verify mandate: ‘Pain in the neck’ for Main Street CNBC July 17, 2013

(US & Canadian) a stadium used for baseball games

approximate range: in the right ballpark
(as modifier): a ballpark figure

(informal) a situation; state of affairs: it’s a whole new ballpark for him

“baseball stadium,” 1899, from (base)ball + 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 which a missile was expected to return to earth; the reference is to broad but reasonably predictable dimensions.

The result, according to the author’s estimate, is a stockpile equivalent to one billion tons of TNT. Assuming this estimate is “in the ball park,” clearly there is valid reason for urging candor on the part of our government. [Ralph E. Lapp, “Atomic Candor,” in “Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists,” October 1954]


Claimed or designated special territory; turf: Aren’t you a little out of your ballpark here?/ I’ve played mostly your game. But now we’re in my park (1963+)

Related Terms

all over the map, in the ballpark


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