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

Hot-air balloons aren't like spaceflight or time travel, technologies that require many members of a civilization to work together to produce them. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Here's a Guide for Reinventing the World If Your Time Machine Gets Stuck in the Past," 18 Sep. 2018 The name of the company operating the hot air balloon was not immediately available for comment. Janine Puhak, Fox News, "Colorado hot air balloon crash injures multiple people, one reportedly in critical condition," 3 Aug. 2018 Like heating the inside of a hot-air balloon, the air will have a tendency to rise further, and quite rapidly, forming deep thunderstorm clouds approaching 50,000 feet. Jeff Halverson, Washington Post, "Anatomy of Tuesday’s devastating flash flood in Frederick," 16 May 2018 On Saturday night the model hit the town with a few equally glamorous friends to celebrate her twenty-third birthday with a bit of karaoke and a whole lot of balloons. Stacey Leasca, Glamour, "Bella Hadid Threw Kendall Jenner a 23rd Birthday Bash—and It Looked Amazing," 4 Nov. 2018 Audrey setup picnic tables and blankets, and there were a ton of flowers and balloons. Eileen Reslen, Good Housekeeping, "Audrey and Jeremy Roloff Had the Most Beautiful First Birthday Party for Their Daughter," 10 Sep. 2018 Parker, who frequents the Taco Bell in Carbondale, Ill., every Tuesday and Friday, commemorated the milestone in the same fast-food restaurant, which was decorated with flowers, balloons and a message on the marquee sign. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Illinois woman chooses Taco Bell for 101st birthday, is 'hooked' on Nacho Fries," 15 Aug. 2018 Saturday morning’s rain dampened bouquets of flowers and balloons but not families’ excitement at Central Connecticut State University’s commencement. Rebecca Lurye, courant.com, "Grads Share One More Journey As Blue Devils At CCSU Commencement," 19 May 2018 Nearby, a Yarmouth police cruiser was covered in flowers, balloons, and messages of condolence. Emily Sweeney, BostonGlobe.com, "‘It’s just such a loss for us’: Gannon remembered as dedicated," 13 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Zambian government debt is expected to balloon to 66% of GDP in 2018, from 27% five years ago. Alexandra Wexler, WSJ, "Countries Push to Extract More Cash from Big Mining Companies," 18 Nov. 2018 Botter grew up in Curaçao, and Herrebrugh has lived between the Netherlands and the Dominican Republic—their Hyères show included everything from neon floral suits and fishnet shirts to balloon headpieces in the shape of dolphins. Emily Farra, Vogue, "Nina Ricci Just Hired Two Award-Winning Menswear Designers as Its New Creative Directors," 29 Aug. 2018 Executives assured investors in conference calls that the programs were performing well, while ITT's obligations to pay out on soured loans began to balloon, according to the complaint. Danielle Douglas-gabriel, latimes.com, "Defunct for-profit college firm ITT's former executives settle fraud charges," 10 July 2018 Executives assured investors in conference calls that the programs were performing well, while ITT's obligations to pay out on soured loans began to balloon, according to the complaint. Danielle Douglas-gabriel, chicagotribune.com, "ITT's top executives settle fraud charges with SEC," 9 July 2018 Morley and researchers backed this up by demonstrating for the first time in a lab how spiders use electrostatic forces to balloon. Lilly Price, USA TODAY, "Spiders use electricity to fly thousands of miles, research shows," 6 July 2018 But crime has proven potential to balloon into a serious political issue, argues Will Jennings, an academic at the University of Southampton. The Economist, "Crime is back on the political agenda," 14 June 2018 Google’s defense contract controversy is not likely to balloon into the scale of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal. Erin Griffith, WIRED, "Google Won't Renew Controversial Pentagon AI Project," 1 June 2018 The disruption weakens the left ventricle causing it to balloon. Maria Clark, NOLA.com, "Can you die of a broken heart? It's possible," 9 May 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

1 Dec 2018

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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