A writing instrument that came into popularity shortly after World War II, displacing the fountain pen. The barrel of the pen houses a refill. The ink is a paste that is smudged onto the paper on a rotating ball. When the paste-ink is exhausted, the refill, including the ball, is replaced. While this provides for an adequate method of marking paper, it doesn’t offer the expressive qualities of a nib.

Ballpoints vary from inexpensive ones that are almost common property, jumping from person to person without much thought, to fairly nice ones. They are perhaps the most common pen available today.