balloon

noun
bal·​loon | \ bə-ˈlün How to pronounce balloon (audio) \
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 Activities could include throwing a family dance party, creating a scavenger hunt, waging a water balloon fight or planning an outdoor game day with contests like basketball or croquet. Ryan Prior, CNN, "Healthy eating for kids: How to talk to them about good food habits," 28 May 2020 Wednesday morning, two years after his killing, Cynovah Roberts, along with her son Jay, released balloons in remembrance of Rheyshaun Roberts and would spend the day telling stories and eating his favorite food, ribs. Mykal Mceldowney, The Indianapolis Star, "‘He’s my sunlight’: Family celebrates life of Indianapolis man gunned down 2 years ago," 27 May 2020 SpaceX managers will assess a complicated mix of weather models, high-altitude balloon data and actual wind, rain and wave data from multiple buoys along the ground track to determine whether conditions, on average, are acceptable for launch. William Harwood, CBS News, "Weather outlook improves somewhat for historic SpaceX launch," 25 May 2020 But all were eclipsed by Jean Hagen’s raucous performance as the arrogant yet hapless silent star Lina Lamont, whose ego-mad aggression—and helium-balloon voice—our daughters imitated with glee. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "What to Stream: Twelve Classic Movies to Watch with Your Kids," 23 May 2020 With few options to send their cattle for slaughter, farmers are now watching prices for their cattle dwindle as costs to care for them balloon. USA Today, "‘Cows will need bred’: Coronavirus is hitting the meat industry all the way up to animal breeders," 18 May 2020 The military is ordered to pick up balloon payloads and destroy all materials without looking at them or reading them, according to VOM. Fox News, "North Korea 'church' doesn’t look like any other but it exists: watchdog," 14 May 2020 Kimmy walks down the aisle in her fun dress (yes, that first choice really matters!), which is a cotton candy pink mullet dress with a balloon veil and a candy bouquet. Shannon Carlin, refinery29.com, "How Many Endings Can You Get In The Bandersnatch-Style Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Special?," 13 May 2020 The accounting charge is likely to be in the $6 billion range, said Cowen & Co. analyst Cai von Rumohr, as Boeing’s reserve to compensate airlines balloons to $12 billion. Julie Johnsson, Bloomberg.com, "With Boeing’s Integrity in Doubt, New CEO Vows to Rebuild Trust," 10 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb WeWork's valuation, which had ballooned to $47 billion at one point, collapsed to roughly $8 billion when the SoftBank bailout was agreed to in October. Rishi Iyengar, CNN, "Adam Neumann sues SoftBank for walking away from $3 billion WeWork share buyout," 5 May 2020 Much of those gains came from GE Capital, the finance arm that ballooned under Mr. Welch and would almost destroy the company during the 2008 financial crisis. Thomas Gryta, WSJ, "Jack Welch, Legendary CEO of General Electric, Dies at Age 84," 2 Mar. 2020 Byrne has supported Austal, but voted against the appropriations bill in December, saying it was packed with last-minute additions that had ballooned its bottom line by more than $1 trillion. al, "Money for Austal ship could be diverted to border wall," 13 Feb. 2020 High-pressure sales tactics, full up-front payment or low estimates that may potentially balloon over time or foreshadow shoddy work to come are all red flags to look out for. Leah Napoliello, Houston Chronicle, "BBB on Homes: Choose wisely when searching for trustworthy foundation specialist," 25 Jan. 2020 The Magic remained hot from distance after halftime, with Gordon scoring eight points in an 14-4 run that had Phoenix on its heels and Orlando bolting out to a 79-62 lead that would eventually balloon to a 22-point margin in the third quarter. Chris Hays, orlandosentinel.com, "Aaron Gordon leads Magic scoring eruption during win over Suns," 4 Dec. 2019 The arrests stem from an investigation that began in July that soon ballooned to a bigger case than law enforcement expected. Elise Schmelzer, The Denver Post, "13 charged in connection to Denver motorcycle gang raids, organized crime – including 81-year-old," 22 Nov. 2019 Singapore, long lauded for its early containment efforts, has seen its cases balloon to more than 23,000 as the virus spread in dormitories for foreign workers. New York Times, "Bringing Muslim families to American TV comedy," 12 May 2020 Overall, the United States lost a record 20.5 million jobs in April as the unemployment rate ballooned to 14.7 percent. Fox News, "Mark Cuban predicts success of state reopenings 'depends on consumers and how much they spend'," 9 May 2020

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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Time Traveler for balloon

Time Traveler

The first known use of balloon was in 1783

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Statistics for balloon

Last Updated

1 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Balloon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/balloon. Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for balloon

balloon

noun
How to pronounce balloon (audio)

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 How to pronounce balloon (audio) \

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 How to pronounce balloon (audio) \

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

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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