Did you know? The word 'ballroom' denotes a room where balls may be held: that is: formal social dances. Balls were important social events in the days before radio and television (as in 'having a ball'). The word 'ball' derives from the Latin 'ballare' meaning 'to dance'. This is also the origin of the related words : ballet, ballerina, ballad, etc. Note that this origin is quite different from that of a 'ball': a round object used for games. This derives from the Old Norse : 'bollr', meaning 'to inflate'.