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

Plus, the company had done some unlawful tests with weather balloons and other equipment before the launch. Loren Grush, The Verge, "FCC slams spaceflight company with $900,000 fine over illegal satellite launch," 20 Dec. 2018 Protesters are typically bused in to attend the rallies and given preprinted placards, with balloons for kids and T-shirts bearing the likeness of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei adding to a festival-like atmosphere. Ramin Mostaghim, latimes.com, "In 'Jerusalem Day' protest, Iranians burn effigy of President Trump dressed in an Israeli flag," 8 June 2018 On this night, though, the suites’ windows were thrown open, and dancers flooded the floor with huge silver balloons, which other dancers then threw into the glass box. Jon Caramanica, New York Times, "At Sotheby’s, ASAP Rocky Breaks Out of the Box," 25 May 2018 Just past a red tent with colorful balloons and an enlarged picture of Alyssa in soccer uniform, beachgoers flew white kites with personalized messages for her on a sunny, windy afternoon. Wells Dusenbury, Sun-Sentinel.com, "On her birthday, friends and family remember Parkland shooting victim Alyssa Alhadeff," 2 May 2018 In 2014, North Korean soldiers opened fire after South Korean activists sent anti-North leaflets over the border with large balloons, prompting South Korea to return fire. Bloomberg.com, "North and South Korea Dismantle Propaganda Loudspeakers at Border," 1 May 2018 Promoting unity From 9:42 until 10:12, about 800 students gathered on the Argo High School football field to form a circle around 17 student desks with 17 balloons, Superintendent Jill Kingsfield said. Donna Vickroy, Daily Southtown, "'We all want a voice': Southland students say #ENOUGH through walkouts, remembrances," 14 Mar. 2018 When the 26-year-old Cleveland woman succeeded, finally, in passing her state cosmetology exams, a group of eight former strangers threw her a surprise celebration, complete with balloons and a cake. Emily Bamforth, cleveland.com, "Open Table creates support families for former foster youth," 19 Jan. 2018 This May, Allure is going to be celebrating kink by rolling out stories on various kinky behaviors, such as balloon fetishes, impact play, and golden showers. Sophie Saint Thomas, Allure, "Pick a Safe Word, It's Kink Month at Allure," 1 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In the eight years since its founding, WeWork has ballooned into one of the world’s biggest coworking startups, with locations in dozens of countries. Gaby Del Valle, Vox, "WeWork is tracking how much its members drink during the workday," 31 Oct. 2018 In particular, mindfulness meditation, which focuses one’s attention on the present moment, is wildly popular and has ballooned into a billion-dollar business, according to the market research firm IBISWorld. Bruce Lieberman, Washington Post, "Mindfulness meditation is huge, but science isn’t sure how, or whether, it works," 24 Mar. 2018 According to reports, the production budget for the director's first Netflix feature has ballooned into the $140 million range — and is still growing. Ray Rahman, The Hollywood Reporter, "What Matters in Hollywood Today," 13 Feb. 2018 The overall burden to the state, including health care and criminal justice costs and lost worker productivity, has ballooned into the billions of dollars. Anchorage Daily News, "1 son, 6 hours, 4 overdoses: A family’s relentless cycle," 21 Jan. 2018 The 1994 World Cup final is not remembered for Brazil winning, but rather for Italian legend Roberto Baggio ballooning his penalty over the bar. SI.com, "How Karius’ Kiev Nightmare Perfectly Demonstrates the Need for Villains Along With Heroes in Sport," 29 May 2018 Its deficit has ballooned from $29 million in 2016 to $38 million. Michelle Baruchman, The Seattle Times, "Trump pick for acting defense secretary brings a knack for complex issues honed at UW, Boeing," 24 Dec. 2018 In an interview with the Associated Press, Trump blamed the ballooning deficit on wildfires and hurricanes in 2017, which resulted in $306 billion in damages, as well as on the need to fund the military. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Trump says there’s another tax cut on the way. We have no idea what he’s talking about.," 21 Oct. 2018 Today’s communal spaces have ballooned in digital vastness yet shrunk in physical size. Andrew Zaleski, Curbed, "Can Apple stores be public spaces?," 3 Oct. 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

19 May 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 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

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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