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

The balloon, which is 20 feet tall, was created via a crowdfunding campaign that managed to collect over $23,000 to fund it. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "The 'Baby Trump' Balloon Will Fly Over London on Friday. Organizers Want to Send It to His Scotland Golf Course Next.," 12 July 2018 Much of the fundraising now is going toward necessary infrastructure ancillary to the balloon, such as the mast, a baseplate, and foundation anchors. Alex Bazeley, Curbed, "This Burning Man orb by Bjarke Ingels and Jakob Lange seeks your crowdfunding dollars," 5 July 2018 The video ends with her in a hotel room that’s filled with flowers and balloons from Maybelline. Shannon Barbour, The Cut, "Maybelline Picks Victoria’s Secret Angel As Its New Face," 19 Apr. 2018 About 20 people brought flowers and balloons to the collision site where sisters Karli, 20, and Kelsey, 18, Richardson died on April 14, 2017. Alejandro Barahona, azcentral, "Family, friends of sisters killed by drunk wrong-way driver celebrate their life," 15 Apr. 2018 The same balloon flew over anti-Trump protests in London on Friday, when thousands crammed the streets of the British capital to vent their anger over Trump’s first official visit to Britain. Paul Kelbie, BostonGlobe.com, "10,000 protesters opposing Trump march through Scottish capital," 14 July 2018 The balloon suddenly deflated and came to a rest on the ground as its crew appeared to be preparing to take it to Scotland. USA TODAY, "Live in London where protesters are rallying against President Trump's visit to UK," 13 July 2018 The balloon is just one part of demonstrations that are expected to attract thousands of people. Jen Kirby, Vox, "A giant “Trump Baby” balloon will greet Trump in London next week," 6 July 2018 Once in place, the balloon is filled with saline solution. Susan Scutti, CNN, "Weight loss balloons now linked to 12 deaths," 4 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

That assumes tunnel construction wouldn’t balloon into significant cost overruns like virtually every other big government project. George Skelton, latimes.com, "What do Southern Californians really get out of Gov. Jerry Brown's twin tunnels project?," 12 July 2018 But the trade-off was that her student debt load ballooned into the six figures. Jonnelle Marte, chicagotribune.com, "Black homeownership is stuck near 30-year lows," 6 July 2018 Once the spiders were ballooning in the air, researchers turned the electric field off. Lilly Price, USA TODAY, "Spiders use electricity to fly thousands of miles, research shows," 6 July 2018 The nation’s monthly YouTube users ballooned to 24 million in 2016, half of the country’s population. Rebekah F. Ward, The Christian Science Monitor, "How laughter brought more voters to the polls in Colombia," 3 July 2018 The project is set to launch in the mid-2020s, but the cost has ballooned to $3.9 billion, well above the initial projection of less than $2 billion. Alex Stuckey, Houston Chronicle, "The launch of NASA's $8 billion James Webb Telescope delayed again, to March 2021," 27 June 2018 Bryant’s strikeout rate and swinging-strike rate have both ballooned since the end of May. His contact rate has dropped 10 points over that span as well. Si.com Staff, SI.com, "Nine Innings: Jason Heyward's Turning Point, Expansion Possibilities and Bryce Harper's Struggles," 18 June 2018 Shortly before noon on the day the new Pixar Pier opened in Disneyland's California Adventure, the wait for a 17-year-old roller coaster ballooned to nearly four hours. Scott Craven, azcentral, "Disneyland's Pixar Pier: Should you go now, go later or not go at all?," 10 July 2018 The surplus flows right back into U.S. Treasuries, to fund our gigantic and ballooning federal deficits, in addition to providing tons of growth capital to stateside industries—all at bargain rates. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "Here's How China Could Really Hurt Trump in a Trade War," 22 Mar. 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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Phrases Related to balloon

balloon payment

hot-air balloon

water balloon

Statistics for balloon

Last Updated

6 Oct 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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