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Baseball in English Dictionary

Salience Noteworthy
Tags Contemp. "Base Ball" usage
City/State/Country: England
Game Base Ball
Immediacy of Report Contemporary
Age of Players Unknown

"BASEBALL, (From base and ball) A rural game in which the person striking the ball must run to his base or goal." 
Additionally, the dictionary lists the following as one of its definitions for the word "base":
BASE "A rural play, also called baseball."


"A General Dictionary of the English Language, Compiled with the Greatest Care from the Best Authors and Dictionaries Now Extant." Its authors are identified only as "A Society of Gentlemen." per 19cbb post by David Block, Dec. 2, 2011


Still, it's fairly significant in that it becomes, by far, the earliest known appearance of baseball in a dictionary. The next earliest one we know of was almost 80 years later, in James Orchard Halliwell's 1847 "Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words."
It is quite interesting that "baseball" appears as one whole word, not the two-word "base ball," or hyphenated "base-ball" that were customary in the era.
Also of note is the dictionary's indication that the word "base" was an alternate name for baseball. 

"A Society of Gentlemen" was the pseudonym under which the Encyclopaedia 
Britannica was first published, also in 1768.

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Submitted by Bob Tholkes,
Submission Note 2/21/2015


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