The ball is in [someone’s] court

The ball is in [someone’s] court

DEFINITION: it is someone else’s turn to make the next move


  • We made an offer to buy the business and now the ball is in the owner’s court to accept our offer or negotiate.
  • I already told you when I am free next week; now the ball is in your court.

ORIGIN: Games such as tennis or badminton in which players take turns to hit a ball over a net into each other’s end of the court.

(Hint: Americans love using sports terminology in their idioms. Here is a complete list.)