a ballpark figure | a ballpark estimate

This page is about the idiom a ballpark figure | a ballpark estimate

American English


If you give a ballpark figure or a ballpark estimate, you give a number which you think is fairly close to the actual one.

For example

  • We don't know the exact cost, but a ballpark figure would be around six million dollars.

  • I know you can't tell me exactly when it'll be finished, but can you give me a ballpark estimate?

Origin: From baseball, and probably having a history similar to that of the idiom "in the same ballpark" which means "approximately the same amount".


This idiom is typically used in American English but may be used in other varieties of English too.

Quick Quiz

She gave us a ballpark figure for the cost because she

a. didn't know the exact amount

b. knew how much a ballpark cost

c. wanted to tell us the exact amount

Idiom of the Day

Contributor: Matt Errey