Airballs – Definition & Meaning

Airballs are a term used in basketball to describe a shot that misses the rim entirely, resulting in the ball going out of bounds or being rebounded by the opposing team. It is a common occurrence in basketball games, and often results in disappointment for the player who made the shot.


An airball is a shot that does not hit the rim, backboard, or net. It is a shot that misses the entire basket entirely, and is considered a mistake in basketball.


The origin of the term airball is not clear, but it is believed to have originated in the early days of basketball. The term was likely coined to describe the sound the ball makes as it misses the basket entirely and goes through the air.

Meaning in different dictionaries

In the Merriam-Webster dictionary, airball is defined as “a basketball shot that misses the rim, backboard, and net entirely.”
In the Oxford English dictionary, airball is defined as “a shot in basketball that misses the basket entirely.”


Airballs are often associated with poor shooting skills, lack of focus, and nervousness. They are also associated with missed opportunities and disappointment.


Some synonyms for airballs include brick, miss, and clank.


The antonyms of airballs would be a made shot, a swish, or a score.

The same root words

There are no other words that share the same root as airballs.

Example Sentences

  1. “He missed the shot entirely, resulting in an airball.”
  2. “The player was nervous and ended up shooting an airball.”
  3. “The crowd groaned as the player’s shot turned into an airball.”
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