on the ball


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on the ball

Attentive, knowledgeable, and quick to take action. I'm so glad that my assistant is always on the ball because I'm too scatterbrained to manage my schedule on my own. I can't believe Molly got that report done so quickly—she's really on the ball.
See also: ball, on
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

on the ball

Inf. knowledgeable; competent; attentive. (See also have something on the ball.) This guy is really on the ball. If you were on the ball, this wouldn't have happened.
See also: ball, on
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

on the ball

If someone is on the ball, they are alert and deal with things quickly and intelligently. Some clubs struggle to raise money. A few are on the ball and make a professional job of it. I need to be on the ball with the Deputy Prime Minister visiting. Note: In football, the player who is on the ball has the ball at their feet and is in control of it.
See also: ball, on
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

on the ball

alert to new ideas, methods, and trends. informal
1998 Romesh Gunesekera Sandglass It's big business now, you know. You have to be on the ball: go, go, go all the time.
See also: ball, on
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

on the ball

mod. knowledgeable; competent; attentive. (see also have a lot on the ball.) If you were on the ball, this wouldn’t have happened.
See also: ball, on
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

on the ball

Informal
1. Alert, competent, or efficient: a teacher who is really on the ball.
2. Relating to qualities, such as competence, skill, or knowledge, that are necessary for success: a manager who has a lot on the ball; a student who has nothing on the ball.
See also: ball, on
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

on the ball

Efficient and/or effective. This American colloquialism is believed to come from baseball, where the pitcher who puts spin or speed on the ball is apt to strike out more batters. It was being transferred to mean any kind of competence by 1912, when an article in Collier’s stated, “He’s got nothing on the ball.”
See also: ball, on
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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