a crystal ball

crystal ball

1. A glass or crystal orb used by fortune tellers and mystics in popular culture to see into the future. The soothsayer, peering into her crystal ball, foretold that I would come to possess a great fortune by the year's end.
2. By extension, any figurative means of predicting future events. She must have some kind of crystal ball for the economy, because every business decision she's made has been timed perfectly to market fluctuations. Well, Mike, what does your crystal ball say about the team's chances in the playoffs?
See also: ball, crystal

a crystal ball

COMMON You talk about a crystal ball when you are saying how difficult it is to predict the future. What you really need to help you select your new car is a crystal ball to tell you how much it will be worth in three or four years' time. Note: You can call the activity of predicting the future crystal ball gazing. Can I ask you now to do a bit of crystal ball gazing? How high do you think the price of oil could go? Note: A crystal ball is a glass ball used by some traditional fortune-tellers (= people who predict what will happen to you in the future). They say that they can see visions of future events within the ball.
See also: ball, crystal
References in periodicals archive ?
Summary: A crystal ball ornament caused a flat fire after magnifying the sun's rays and making a television explode.
A crystal ball which magnified the sun's rays ended up setting a flat on fire and making a television explode.
The fireman said this is the first time he has ever heard of a crystal ball causing a fire in his 25-year career.
FRAZZLED Kim holds a crystal ball in burnt out flat
But, unfortunately, it's your report card that everyone from guidance counselors to college recruiters will often regard as a crystal ball into your future.
If you really want to make a statement about your crystal, congregate all the pieces and have a Crystal Ball. First, select a month during which to host a Crystal Ball Promotion.
HOST A CRYSTAL BALL TO SPOTLIGHT ALL OF THE CRYSTAL IN YOUR STORE.
Each Yankee will also receive a crystal ball, and Bloomingdale's is interested in raffling off the first numbered ball to a charity of the Yankees' choice, according to Keating.
He proposed tracking the behavior of certain types of liquid crystals, in effect using them as a crystal ball to illuminate the universe's distant past.