ballot (v.) Look up ballot at Dictionary.com
1540s, from ballot (n.). Related: Balloted; balloting.
ballpark (n.) Look up ballpark at Dictionary.com
"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]
ballplayer (n.) Look up ballplayer at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from ball (n.1) + player.
ballroom (n.) Look up ballroom at Dictionary.com
1736, from ball (n.2) + room (n.). Ballroom dancing is attested by 1872.
balls (n.) Look up balls at Dictionary.com
"testicles," early 14c., from plural of ball (n.1). See also ballocks. Meaning "courage, nerve" is from 1928. Balls to the wall, however, probably is from World War II Air Forces slang, from the ball that topped the aircraft throttle, thrust to the bulkhead of the cockpit to attain full speed. Ball-busting "difficult" is first recorded 1944; ball-buster, disparaging for "dominant female," is from 1974.
ballsy (adj.) Look up ballsy at Dictionary.com
"courageous, masculine," 1959, first attested in Norman Mailer (writing of Truman Capote); see balls + -y (2).
bally (adj.) Look up bally at Dictionary.com
1885, British English, slang euphemism for bloody.
ballyhoo (n.) Look up ballyhoo at Dictionary.com
"publicity, hype," 1908, from circus slang, "a short sample of a sideshow" (1901), of unknown origin. There is a village of Ballyhooly in County Cork, Ireland. In nautical lingo, ballahou or ballahoo (1867, perhaps 1836) meant "an ungainly vessel," from Spanish balahu "schooner."
balm (n.) Look up balm at Dictionary.com
early 13c., basme, aromatic substance made from resins and oils, from Old French basme (Modern French baume), from Latin balsamum, from Greek balsamon "balsam," from Hebrew basam "spice," related to Aramaic busma, Arabic basham "balsam, spice, perfume."

Spelling refashioned 15c.-16c. on Latin model. Sense of "healing or soothing influence" (1540s) is from aromatic preparations from balsam (see balsam). Biblical Balm of Gilead, however, began with Coverdale; the Hebrew word there is tsori, which was rendered in Septuagint and Vulgate as "resin" (Greek rhetine, Latin resina).
balmy (adj.) Look up balmy at Dictionary.com
c.1500, "delicately fragrant," from balm + -y (2). Figurative use for "soothing" dates from c.1600; of breezes, air, etc. "mild, fragrant" (combining both earlier senses) it is first attested 1704. Meaning "weak-minded, idiotic," 1851, is from London slang.
balneal (adj.) Look up balneal at Dictionary.com
"pertaining to baths," from Latin balneum "bath," from Greek balaneion, of unknown origin.
baloney (n.) Look up baloney at Dictionary.com
1894, variant of bologna sausage (q.v.). As slang for "nonsense," 1922, American English (popularized 1930s by N.Y. Gov. Alfred E. Smith; in this sense sometimes said to have been one of the coinages of legendary "Variety" staffer Jack Conway), from earlier sense of "idiot" (by 1915), perhaps influenced by blarney, but usually regarded as being from the sausage, as a type traditionally made from odds and ends. It also was ring slang early 20c. for an inferior fighter.
The aristocratic Kid's first brawl for sugar was had in Sandusky, Odryo, with a boloney entitled Young Du Fresne. He gave the green and nervous Kid a proper pastin' for six rounds and the disgusted Dummy sold me his find for a hundred bucks, leavin' the clubhouse just in time to miss seein' the boy get stung, get mad, and win by a knockout. [H.C. Witwer, "The Leather Pushers," "Colliers," Oct. 16, 1920]
balsa (n.) Look up balsa at Dictionary.com
South American tree, 1866, apparently from Spanish balsa "float," originally the name of rafts used on the Pacific coast of Latin America (1777). The wood is very light.
balsam (n.) Look up balsam at Dictionary.com
1570s, "aromatic resin used for healing wounds and soothing pains," from Latin balsamum "gum of the balsam tree" (see balm). There is an isolated Old English reference from c.1000, and Middle English used basme, baume, from the French form of the word. As a type of flowering plant of the Impatiens family, it is attested from 1741.
balsamic (adj.) Look up balsamic at Dictionary.com
c.1600, from balsam + -ic.
Balt (n.) Look up Balt at Dictionary.com
1878, from Late Latin Balthae (see Baltic).
Balthazar Look up Balthazar at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, from French, from Latin, from Greek Baltasar, from Hebrew Belteshatztzar (Dan. x:1), from Babylonian Balat-shar-usur, literally "save the life of the king."
Baltic Look up Baltic at Dictionary.com
1580s, from Medieval Latin Balticus, perhaps from Lithuanian baltas "white" or Scandinavian balta "straight" (in reference to its narrow entranceway). In German, it is Ostsee, literally "east sea."
Baltimore Look up Baltimore at Dictionary.com
city in Maryland, U.S., founded 1729, named for Cecilius Calvert (1605-1675), 2nd baron Baltimore, who held the charter for Maryland colony; from a small port town in southern Ireland where the family had its seat, from Irish Baile na Tighe Mor, literally "townland of the big house." In old baseball slang, a Baltimore chop was a hit right in front of the plate that bounced high.
baluchitherium (n.) Look up baluchitherium at Dictionary.com
ancient mammal, Modern Latin, from Baluchi (see Baluchistan) + Greek therion "beast" (see fierce). So called because its fossils originally were found there.
baluster (n.) Look up baluster at Dictionary.com
"support for a railing," c.1600, from French balustre, from Italian balaustro "pillar," from balausta "flower of the wild pomegranate," from Greek balaustion (perhaps of Semitic origin; compare Aramaic balatz "flower of the wild pomegranate"). Staircase uprights had lyre-like double curves, like the calyx tube of the pomegranate flower.
balustrade (n.) Look up balustrade at Dictionary.com
"row of balusters," 1640s, from French balustrade (17c.), from Italian balaustrata "provided with balusters," from balaustro "pillar" (see baluster).
bam Look up bam at Dictionary.com
interjection, imitative of the sound of a hard hit, first recorded 1922 (from 1917 as the sound of an artillery shell bursting). Middle English had a verb bammen "to hit or strike" (late 14c.). A literary work from c.1450 represents the sound of repeated impact by Lus, bus! las, das!, and Middle English had lushe "a stroke, blow" (c.1400); lushen "to strike, knock, beat" (c.1300).
bambino (n.) Look up bambino at Dictionary.com
"little child," 1761, from Italian bambino, "baby," a diminutive of bambo "simple" (compare Latin bambalio "dolt," Greek bambainein "to stammer"). In U.S. baseball lore, a nickname of George Herman "Babe" Ruth Jr. (1895-1948).
bamboo (n.) Look up bamboo at Dictionary.com
1590s, from Dutch bamboe, from Portuguese bambu, earlier mambu (16c.), probably from Malay samambu, though some suspect this is itself an imported word.
bamboozle (v.) Look up bamboozle at Dictionary.com
1703, originally a slang or cant word, perhaps Scottish from bombaze "perplex," related to bombast, or French embabouiner "to make a fool (literally 'baboon') of." Related: Bamboozled; bamboozling. As a noun from 1703.
ban (v.) Look up ban at Dictionary.com
Old English bannan "to summon, command, proclaim," from Proto-Germanic *bannan "proclaim, command, forbid" (cognates: Old High German bannan "to command or forbid under threat of punishment," German bannen "banish, expel, curse"), originally "to speak publicly," from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak" (cognates: Old Irish bann "law," Armenian ban "word;" see fame (n.)).

Main modern sense of "to prohibit" (late 14c.) is from Old Norse cognate banna "to curse, prohibit," and probably in part from Old French ban, which meant "outlawry, banishment," among other things (see banal) and was a borrowing from Germanic. The sense evolution in Germanic was from "speak" to "proclaim a threat" to (in Norse, German, etc.) "curse."

The Germanic root, borrowed in Latin and French, has been productive: banish, bandit, contraband, etc. Related: Banned; banning. Banned in Boston dates from 1920s, in allusion to the excessive zeal and power of that city's Watch and Ward Society.
ban (n.2) Look up ban at Dictionary.com
"governor of Croatia," from Serbo-Croatian ban "lord, master, ruler," from Persian ban "prince, lord, chief, governor," related to Sanskrit pati "guards, protects." Hence banat "district governed by a ban," with Latinate suffix -atus. The Persian word got into Slavic perhaps via the Avars.
ban (n.1) Look up ban at Dictionary.com
"edict of prohibition," c.1300, "proclamation or edict of an overlord," from Old English (ge)bann "proclamation, summons, command" and Old French ban, both from Germanic; see ban (v.).
banal (adj.) Look up banal at Dictionary.com
"trite, commonplace," 1840, from French banal, "belonging to a manor, common, hackneyed, commonplace," from Old French banel "communal" (13c.), from ban "decree; legal control; announcement; authorization; payment for use of a communal oven, mill, etc." (see ban (v.)). The modern sense evolved from the word's use in designating things like ovens or mills that belonged to feudal serfs, or else compulsory military service; in either case it was generalized in French through "open to everyone" to "commonplace, ordinary," to "trite, petty."
banality (n.) Look up banality at Dictionary.com
1861, triteness, from French banalité "banality, commonplace," from banal (see banal).
banana (n.) Look up banana at Dictionary.com
1590s, borrowed by Spanish or Portuguese from a West African word, possibly Wolof banana. The plant was introduced to the New World from Africa in 1516. Top banana, second banana, etc. are 1950s, from show business slang use of banana for "comedian, especially in a burlesque show." Banana split first attested 1920. Banana oil "nonsense" is slang from c.1910.
banana republic (n.) Look up banana republic at Dictionary.com
"small Central American state with an economy dependent on banana production," 1901, American English.
bananas (adj.) Look up bananas at Dictionary.com
"crazy," 1968; earlier (1935) it was noted as an underworld slang term for "sexually perverted."
banausic (adj.) Look up banausic at Dictionary.com
"merely mechanical," coined 1845 from Greek banausikos "pertaining to mechanics," from banausos "artisan, mere mechanical," hence (to the Greeks) "base, ignoble;" perhaps literally "working by fire," from baunos "furnace, forge" (but Klein dismisses this as folk etymology and calls it "of uncertain origin").
band (n.1) Look up band at Dictionary.com
"a flat strip," also "something that binds," a merger of two words, ultimately from the same source. In the sense "that by which someone or something is bound," it is attested from early 12c., from Old Norse band "thin strip that ties or constrains," from Proto-Germanic *bindan, from PIE *bendh- "to bind" (cognates: Gothic bandi "that which binds; Sanskrit bandhah "a tying, bandage," source of bandana; Middle Irish bainna "bracelet;" see bend (v.), bind (v.)). Most of the figurative senses of this word have passed into bond (n.), which originally was a phonetic variant of this band.

The meaning "a flat strip" (late 14c.) is from Old French bande "strip, edge, side," via Old North French bende, from Old High German binda, from Proto-Germanic *bindan (see above). In Middle English, this was distinguished by the spelling bande, but since the loss of the final -e the words have fully merged. Meaning "broad stripe of color" is from late 15c.; the electronics sense of "range of frequencies or wavelengths" is from 1922. The Old North French form was retained in heraldic bend. Band saw is recorded from 1864.
band (n.2) Look up band at Dictionary.com
"an organized group," late 15c., from Middle French bande, which is traceable to the Proto-Germanic root of band (n.1), probably via a band of cloth worn as a mark of identification by a group of soldiers or others (compare Gothic bandwa "a sign"). The extension to "group of musicians" is c.1660, originally musicians attached to a regiment of the army. To beat the band (1897) is to make enough noise to drown it out, hence to exceed everything.
band (v.) Look up band at Dictionary.com
1520s, "to bind or fasten;" also "to join in a company," from band (n.1) and (n.2) in various noun senses, and partly from French bander. The meaning "to affix an ID band to (a wild animal, etc.)" is attested from 1914. Related: Banded; banding.
Band-Aid (n.) Look up Band-Aid at Dictionary.com
trademark registered 1924 by Johnson & Johnson for a stick-on gauze pad or strip. See band (n.1) + aid (n.). The British equivalent was Elastoplast. Figurative sense of "temporary or makeshift solution to a problem, pallative" (often lower case, sometimes bandaid) is first recorded 1968; as an adjective, from 1970.
bandage (n.) Look up bandage at Dictionary.com
1590s, from Middle French bandage (16c.), from Old French bander "to bind," from bande "a strip" (see band (n.1)).
bandage (v.) Look up bandage at Dictionary.com
1774, from bandage (n.). Related: Bandaged; bandaging.
bandana (n.) Look up bandana at Dictionary.com
also often bandanna, 1752, from Hindi bandhnu, a method of dyeing, from Sanskrit badhnati "binds" (because the cloth is tied like modern tie-dye), from same PIE root as band (n.1). Etymologically, the colors and spots are what makes it a bandana.
bandeau (n.) Look up bandeau at Dictionary.com
1706, from French bandeau, from Old French bandel (12c.), diminutive of bande "band" (see band (n.1)).
bandicoot (n.) Look up bandicoot at Dictionary.com
1789, from Telugu pandi-kokku, literally "pig-rat." Properly a large and destructive Indian rat; applied from 1827 to a type of insectivorous Australian marsupial somewhat resembling it.
bandit (n.) Look up bandit at Dictionary.com
1590s, from Italian bandito (plural banditi) "outlaw," past participle of bandire "proscribe, banish," from Vulgar Latin *bannire "to proclaim, proscribe," from Proto-Germanic *bann (see ban (v.)). *Bannire (or its Frankish cognate *bannjan) in Old French became banir-, which, with lengthened stem, became English banish.
banditry (n.) Look up banditry at Dictionary.com
1861, from bandit + -ry.
bandolier (n.) Look up bandolier at Dictionary.com
1570s, "shoulder belt (for a wallet)," from French bandouiliere (16c.), from Italian bandoliera or Spanish bandolera, from diminutive of banda "a scarf, sash," a Germanic loan-word related to Gothic bandwa (see band (n.2)). In some cases, directly from Spanish to English as bandoleer. Meaning "ammunition belt for a musket" is from 1590s; hence bandolero "highwayman, robber" (1832), from Spanish, literally "man who wears a bandoleer."
bandstand (n.) Look up bandstand at Dictionary.com
also band-stand, 1859, from band (n.2) + stand (n).
bandwagon (n.) Look up bandwagon at Dictionary.com
also band-wagon, 1855, American English, from band (n.2) + wagon, originally a large wagon used to carry the band in a circus procession; as these also figured in celebrations of successful political campaigns, being on the bandwagon came to represent "attaching oneself to anything that looks likely to succeed," a usage first attested 1899 in writings of Theodore Roosevelt.
bandwidth (n.) Look up bandwidth at Dictionary.com
1930, in electronics, from band (n.1) + width.