to start the ball rolling

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - start the ball rolling

"to start the ball rolling"

to do something that starts an activity;

to start doing something in order to encourage other people to join in


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - start the ball rolling

Several colleagues are attending a meeting ...

Colleague 1:  Why is everyone just sitting around doing nothing?

Colleague 2:  Nobody wants to start.

Colleague 1:  Well, we all know we are here to present our ideas for the new advertising campaign.  I'll start the ball rolling by presenting my idea first.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - start the ball rolling

Two friends are talking in a bar ...

Friend 1:  Look at that poor piano player. He's been playing for hours and nobody has put any money in his tip mug.

Friend 2:  Perhaps people don't know what the mug is for. Why don't you start the ball rolling?

Friend 1:  I will.  I'll put a dollar in his mug and I'm sure others will follow.

to start the ball rolling - Usage:


to start the ball rolling - Gerund Form:

Starting the ball rolling is often the leader's responsibility.

to start the ball rolling - Examples:

1)  ... now that Autumn's here - maybe it's time to start the ball rolling and expose the myth of everyone loving Summer!

2)  Communication audits and employer branding surveys can start the ball rolling, and executive interviews and internal focus groups can be selectively added.

3)  ... it that you can do for very little cost, you can start the ball rolling right now.

4)  SpaceX was founded in part to try to start the ball rolling on the lowered launch cost.

5)  ... to $2 billion but realistically, $300 million might be enough to start the ball rolling with some creative financing after that.

6)  We need to start the ball rolling and keep the momentum.

7)  ... but you can start the ball rolling by working out a view pages to get the idea across. 

8)  I felt that if we started the ball rolling with this show idea, we wouldn't be standing alone for long.

9)  Once we started the ball rolling, the process was faster and scarier than we had initially anticipated.

10)  While Clinton started the ball rolling with sub-prime lending, Bush failed to bring in much tighter regulation.

11)  The service is free, but effectively you would be starting the ball rolling and it will tell you precisely what you need to do next.

12)  There's nothing to stop you from starting the ball rolling by being the first person to take the first step.

13)  There's a lot of talk around big data, but actually starting the ball rolling on how to deal with it is one of the biggest hurdles that enterprises are ...

14)  Thank you to all for starting the ball rolling and doing what the rest have only thought about.

15)  Fair point - though how about the Guardian Media Group starting the ball rolling by making a large donation?

16)  Once all the participants are assembled, the MC starts the ball rolling by drawing the name of the first recipient.

17)  Answering these two questions with some clarity starts the ball rolling. The outcome doesn't need to be all that clear at the outset ...

18)  ... preludes to set the tone, prepares lighting and props, and starts the ball rolling by singing a couple songs himself.

19)  I am sure that if an existing Wiki editor starts the ball rolling, then many others will be able to contribute to a complete and comprehensive biography ...

20)  Doing something? anything? starts the ball rolling and builds confidence that one does, in fact, have something to contribute.