the ball is in court

the ball is in court


  • the initiative for taking action lies with somebody
  • to initiate an action now lies with the party that has the ball in their court
  • it refers to the person who is responsible to make the next move, whether in an activity, game, incident or event
  • the responsibility of taking action lying with someone

Example Sentences

  1. The entire family has stood by his decision to move to another country but the ball is in his court if he decides to change his mind at the last minute.
  2. I have already agreed to meet this guy to hear his proposal out but he did not show up in time, the ball is still in his court.
  3. She had initiated the conversation but the ball is now is his court if he wants to consider her proposal of marriage.
  4. His family and friends have requested him to apologize to his boss to save his job. The ball is in his court now.


The idea of this metaphorical “ball” comes from the world of sports such as badminton and tennis. It shows the ball being thrown around and the person who is occupying the court has the responsibility to throw it off to the other side. The phrase also subtly hints towards getting rid of the ball (the task or the next move) as early and as swiftly as possible in the same context.

T 2 Comments


AuthorAkriti writes on 28th January 2018

This is totally amazing website which helped me a lot in doing my G.K. work. Its good to have information like this. I am lucky to have this website. I loved your website a lot. For me its 100 out of 100. I will use it again.


AuthorAsha writes on 9th January 2018

Its good to have information like this.

Leave a Comment

Idiom of the Day

far cry from
far cry from Meaning: something that is very different from something else different from what is expected a long distance away, physically or metaphorically Example: The apartment they ... Read on


Follow Us

Like Facebook Page

Keep in Touch

Copyrights © 2018 - The Idioms - All Rights Reserved.