blow·​up | \ ˈblō-ˌəp How to pronounce blowup (audio) \
plural blowups

Definition of blowup

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a blowing up: such as
b : an outburst of temper
d : a catastrophic financial failure or collapse Sometime in the next few years, a blowup is likely—one that could sink an already foundering economy.— David Henry


\ ˈblō-ˌəp How to pronounce blow-up (audio) \

Definition of blow-up (Entry 2 of 3)

blow up

blew up; blown up; blowing up; blows up

Definition of blow up (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to build up or tout to an unreasonable extent advertisers blowing up their products
2 : to rend apart, shatter, or destroy by explosion
3 : to fill up with a gas (such as air) blow up a balloon
4 : to make a photographic enlargement of
5 : to bring into existence by blowing of wind it may blow up a storm

intransitive verb

1a : explode
b : to be disrupted or destroyed (as by explosion)
c : to lose self-control especially : to become violently angry
2 : to become or come into being by or as if by blowing of wind
3a : to become filled with a gas
b : to become expanded to unreasonable proportions
c : to gain a large amount of weight In the ensuing two years Gibson blew up to more than 400 pounds as he ate an over-abundance of fast foods …— Tim Crothers
4 : to suddenly become very successful, prevalent, or popular Latin-tinged pop is blowing up because it fits the musical times: …— Christopher John Farley

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Synonyms & Antonyms for blowup

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of blowup in a Sentence

Noun The blowup of the photograph was easy to frame. The two of them had a big blowup about something trivial. The coach's latest blowup occurred when one of his players arrived late. Verb she blew up at everybody after a very long and very bad day the building blew up because of a gas leak
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There have been telltale signs of dissension between the players and the coach, highlighted by several sideline blowups. cleveland, "Cleveland Browns’ Freddie Kitchens as bad Santa: Crowquill," 25 Dec. 2019 While lending provides a path to profits for companies like Nubank, the history of banking is littered with blowups, showing that risk management is no simple task. John Detrixhe, Quartz, "Nubank is leading the fintech gold rush in Latin America," 13 Dec. 2019 The scale of these blowups, so starkly at odds with SoftBank’s recent esteemed status, has dislocated the U.S. IPO market as investors and would-be public companies look skeptically at one another across a widening gulf of value perception. Ed Hammondbloomberg, Los Angeles Times, "News Analysis: When deal genius fails: Hard lessons from 3G, Valeant and SoftBank," 4 Oct. 2019 After overcoming a pair of bullpen blowups with a win Sunday in Milwaukee, the Cubs return to St. Louis in a first-place tie with the Cardinals. Paul Sullivan,, "Column: As another huge Cubs-Cardinals series arrives, most of the key characters haven’t changed," 30 July 2019 Originally, class advisers approved a plan for students to purchase a blowup cowboy and horse and then lasso a student who would dress up as the knight. NBC News, "Black mannequin was dragged by rope at Nevada high school football game," 24 Sep. 2019 The only reason for mild surprise would be in how quickly a blowup happened. Albert Breer,, "Antonio Brown’s Helmet Drama Is Exactly What Jon Gruden and the Raiders Bargained For," 12 Aug. 2019 Similar blowups happened at malls across the nation that day. Jesse Leavenworth,, "Manchester mall announces youth curfew through holiday shopping season to deter brawls," 20 Nov. 2019 Interviews with more than a dozen current and former employees paint a sobering picture of life inside Fisher Investments that began long before the recent blowup. Sabrina Willmer, Los Angeles Times, "Inside Ken Fisher’s investment kingdom, where the pace and the talk can be rough," 22 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb They're allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people. NBC News, "Defending Trump has made Pompeo the most powerful secretary of state in decades," 7 Jan. 2020 They're allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people. Author: Nasser Karimi, Jon Gambrell, Anchorage Daily News, "Iran holds massive funeral for US-slain commander amid calls for vengeance," 6 Jan. 2020 Some of Rubio's rehab work included doing high knees while holding a medicine ball — and blowing up balloons. Duane Rankin, azcentral, "Suns' Ricky Rubio eyes return against Wizards while Aron Baynes remains out," 26 Nov. 2019 French artillery guns were poorly made and sometimes blew up when they were fired The blast instantly killed Ryan and two other soldiers — Everett Van Eimeren and Alonzo Cudworth. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "If you didn't know Wisconsinites killed in battle, read these stories of veterans whose lives were cut short," 11 Nov. 2019 Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur elected to go for the touchdown instead of attempting the field goal and Gerald McCoy blew up a Jamaal Williams' run to end the first half. Keith Jenkins,, "Packers hold off Panthers 24-16 thanks to Aaron Jones’ 3 touchdowns," 10 Nov. 2019 There is a wider morphing process (literally) that takes place: hips expand, feet swell, breasts blow up and the entire shape of one’s physique alters. Anna Ben Yehuda Rahmanan, SELF, "I'm Pregnant And Want to Wear Skintight Clothes and Nothing Else," 20 Aug. 2019 Desperate to keep her word, Holly has no choice but to blow up the blizzard. Riane Konc, The New Yorker, "New Hallmark Original Christmas Movies from Your Favorite Hollywood Directors," 20 Dec. 2019 Just days after his testimony, the FBI charged a white supremacist in Colorado with plotting to blow up a synagogue. Ellen J. Kennedy, Twin Cities, "Ellen J. Kennedy: ‘We See You, Jew’," 1 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'blowup.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of blowup


1757, in the meaning defined above


1850, in the meaning defined above


1536, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for blowup

Time Traveler

The first known use of blowup was in 1536

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Statistics for blowup

Last Updated

4 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Blowup.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 17 January 2020.

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More Definitions for blowup


How to pronounce blow up (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of blowup

: a photograph that has been made larger
: an angry argument
: an occurrence in which someone becomes very angry : an angry outburst

More from Merriam-Webster on blowup

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for blowup

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with blowup

Comments on blowup

What made you want to look up blowup? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a plan in which a last survivor takes all

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