balloon

noun
bal·​loon | \ bə-ˈlün \
plural balloons

Definition of balloon

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a nonporous bag of light material that can be inflated especially with air or gas: such as
a : a bag that is filled with heated air or a gas lighter than air so as to rise and float in the atmosphere and that usually carries a suspended load (such as a gondola with passengers)
b : an inflatable bag (as of rubber or plastic) usually used as a toy or for decoration
c medical : a small bag that can be inflated (as in a bodily cavity) with air or gas More than 700,000 Americans undergo procedures in which clogged arteries are cleared out with a balloon and then propped open with a tiny metal scaffold called a stent.— Ron Winslow
2 : the outline enclosing words spoken or thought by a figure especially in a cartoon
go over like a lead balloon US or British go down like a lead balloon
informal
: to fail completely to impress or amuse other people Not surprisingly, his overt religiosity has proved a mixed blessing. While probably a winner on the stump, it has gone over like a lead balloon with journalists, liberals, and even many Jewish organizations.— Michelle Cottle But the last time I saw it on stage, in Ned Sherrin's 1996 revival, the dialogue bored me rigid and the whole thing … went down like a lead balloon.— David Nice

balloon

adjective

Definition of balloon (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : relating to, resembling, or suggesting a balloon a balloon sleeve
2 US : having or being a final installment that is much larger than preceding ones in a term or installment note a balloon note a balloon mortgage Got a commercial mortgage coming due? If the loan requires a balloon payment (as many such mortgages do), you may have a hard time refinancing …INC

balloon

verb
ballooned; ballooning; balloons

Definition of balloon (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to swell or puff out : expand ballooned to 200 pounds
2 : to ascend or travel in or as if in a balloon
3 : to increase rapidly ballooning prices

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Examples of balloon in a Sentence

Noun

I blew up a balloon but then it burst. brightly colored balloons and other party decorations

Verb

Their credit card debt ballooned to more than $5,000. the ballooning costs of education
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Next up, balloon animals and some advice on how to deal with photographers from Prince Harry. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Had an Emotional Day Meeting Kids With Serious Health Needs," 4 Sep. 2018 Festivities include an inflatable rock wall, balloon animals, bounce house and Comedy Sportz. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "5 things to do this week in the southwest suburbs," 10 July 2018 The Kids’ Zone will include a Moonbounce, inflatable slide, face painting, temporary tattoos and balloon animals. Christina Hyder, Howard County Times, "Maple festival offers a bit of everything [North Laurel/Savage]," 6 July 2018 At the observatory, Saturday’s program will include stations that offer personalized caricatures, balloon animals, face painting and artificial tattoos. Laurel Graeber, New York Times, "9 Things to Do With Your Kids in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 5 July 2018 Independence Day Ice Cream Social Head to the Benjamin Harrison House for a first floor tour, face paintings, balloon animals, a scavenger hunt and more from 1 to 4 p.m. July 4. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "31 ways to actually celebrate the Fourth of July on July 4th," 2 July 2018 Also included are balloon animals and face-painting. Jordan Cutler-tietjen, sacbee, "Fireworks, parades and more fireworks! Check out these can’t-miss July 4 celebrations," 27 June 2018 Two soldiers in clown outfits made squeaky balloon animals for children, while a team of army engineers were fixing a nearby road, part of several infrastructure improvements. Anthony Faiola, Washington Post, "Two years after Colombia’s peace accord, the historic pact is in jeopardy," 16 June 2018 Over the weekend, the Duchess of Cambridge took her two older children to the Houghton Horse Trials in Norfolk, an event which features equestrian competitions, shopping, and children's entertainment like bouncy castles and balloon animals. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Kate Middleton Wore a Surprisingly Affordable Dress to the Houghton Horse Trials This Weekend," 29 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

By the fourth quarter of 2019, profits in the Russell 2000 are expected to balloon more than 30% above the year-earlier period. Michael Wursthorn, WSJ, "Small-Cap Stocks Take On New Shine as Markets Slump," 8 Jan. 2019 But these loans quickly drain consumers’ pocketbooks as interest rates balloon into the triple digits. Tim Chen, Fortune, "Banks Should Lead the Way Out of the Payday Lending Trap," 6 June 2018 What began as a trend with humble beginnings — in 2001, students were promposing over schools’ loudspeakers — quickly ballooned into an aspirational rite of passage, thanks to mainstream portrayals like MTV’s Laguna Beach. Allie Volpe, Teen Vogue, "Have Promposals Gotten Too Extra?," 24 Apr. 2018 What was once a slim margin had suddenly ballooned into a lopsided affair. Trevor Hass, BostonGlobe.com, "Foxborough boys shut down Scituate in lacrosse," 19 Apr. 2018 The food stamp program, which has ballooned in recent years, is expected to cost more than $600 billion over the next 10 years. Gregg Re, Fox News, "House GOP passes subsidy-packed farm bill, tightening food stamp rules and work requirements," 21 June 2018 On the other hand, that Texas pride can often balloon into something else entirely and become a hotbed of misinformation. Fernando Ramirez, Houston Chronicle, "The history of Texas' most Texas-iest things," 1 June 2018 The city aims to continue putting dents in its unfunded pension liability, which ballooned from $2 million in 2007 to $321 million in 2016. Hillary Davis, latimes.com, "Newport’s next budget proposes adding police and fire staff and continuing pension paydown," 25 May 2018 But as his story spun into fable, his fame and draft stock ballooned, and so did the pressure. Greg Bishop, SI.com, "Why Jake Locker Walked Away From Football—and Why He Doesn’t Miss It," 18 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'balloon.' 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 balloon

Noun

1783, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1784, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1784, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for balloon

Noun

French ballon large football, balloon, from Italian dialect ballone large football, augmentative of balla ball, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German balla ball — more at ball

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Statistics for balloon

Last Updated

10 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for balloon

The first known use of balloon was in 1783

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More Definitions for balloon

balloon

noun

English Language Learners Definition of balloon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a thin usually rubber bag that becomes larger when it is filled with air or gas
: a picture or space in a cartoon that contains words that are spoken or thought by a character

balloon

verb

English Language Learners Definition of balloon (Entry 2 of 2)

: to become bigger quickly

balloon

noun
bal·​loon | \ bə-ˈlün \

Kids Definition of balloon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a bag that rises and floats above the ground when filled with heated air or with a gas that is lighter than air
2 : a toy or decoration consisting of a rubber bag that can be blown up with air or gas
3 : an outline containing words spoken or thought by a character (as in a cartoon)

balloon

verb
ballooned; ballooning

Kids Definition of balloon (Entry 2 of 2)

: to swell or puff out

balloon

noun
bal·​loon | \ bə-ˈlün \

Medical Definition of balloon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a nonporous bag of tough light material that can be inflated (as in a bodily cavity) with air or gas gastroesophageal tamponade by introduction of a balloon into the stomach

balloon

transitive verb

Medical Definition of balloon (Entry 2 of 2)

: to inflate or distend like a balloon

intransitive verb

: to swell or puff out

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balloon

adjective
bal·​loon

Legal Definition of balloon

: being or having a final installment that is much larger than preceding ones in an installment or term loan a balloon payment

Note: In contrast to an amortized loan, a balloon loan is generally repaid in periodic payments of interest and a large, lump sum payment of principal at the end of the term.

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Comments on balloon

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