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 Now, at Northview Heights, a balloon release to honor the grandmothers’ grief had been hastily arranged for the evening. New York Times, "‘I Won’t Be Used as a Guinea Pig for White People’," 7 Oct. 2020 The family also includes the first person to fly across the English Channel in a balloon, and the first people to pilot a stratospheric flight through clouds. Cnn Staff; Story By Tom Page, CNN, "Bertrand Piccard: The explorer who wants to clean up the skies, and the rest of the planet," 2 Oct. 2020 And on Sunday, there will be a balloon release at 3 p.m., also at Side Effects. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "Vigil set for Toni Bass who was found slain after missing 5 days," 17 Sep. 2020 Get a fright at the haunted house or take a ride in a tethered balloon. Alison Stanton, The Arizona Republic, "47 Halloween events around Phoenix scare up fun for all ages," 13 Sep. 2020 Instead of balloon drops, back slapping, and ladder climbing, the convention space will have social distancing, masks, and handwashing. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "2020 Daily Trail Markers: Ohio Democrats see opportunity on the horizon," 4 Aug. 2020 For one hour, kids ages 3-9 will enjoy games of chance, a craft table, strolling entertainment by magician and balloon artist Gary Kantor, and a goodie bag of treats and prizes. Myrna Petlicki, chicagotribune.com, "10 things to do for Halloween this year in the north and west suburbs," 8 Oct. 2020 The flotilla would also contain one larger balloon hoisting a heavier instrument known as a mass spectrometer—a machine capable of identifying complex biological molecules like proteins. Charlie Wood, Popular Science, "Three ways scientists could search for life on Venus," 1 Oct. 2020 Former Swiss Air Force pilot Yves Rossy has created a type of winged jet pack, which typically requires him to be hoisted into the sky by a helicopter or balloon in order to operate it. Samantha Masunaga, Star Tribune, "Jet-pack flight a mystery, as usual suspects deny culpability," 4 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Sooner, rather than later, his skills will begin to decline while his salary continues to balloon. oregonlive, "The biological clock on Damian Lillard’s prime is ticking: Trail Blazers season review, look ahead," 15 Oct. 2020 The team is expected to balloon to several hundred people after Election Day if Mr. Biden wins. Andrew Restuccia, WSJ, "Biden Unveils Ethics Rules for Transition Staff," 30 Sep. 2020 By 2023, the cloud gaming market is expected to balloon to $4.8 billion, the company said. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, "Cloud gaming gets a lift from COVID-19 and 5G. Here’s how much," 3 Sep. 2020 The winning streak grew to 23 games and would eventually balloon to 29, tied for the nation's second-longest streak since 1972. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "Florida State's football program searches for an identity and a winning streak," 8 Oct. 2020 The momentum would be short-lived, as Magnello took the ensuing kickoff 81 yards for touchdown to balloon the lead to 41-13 and abruptly ending the third quarter. Dashone Dunomes, NOLA.com, "Tre Magnello returns two kickoffs for touchdowns in East Jefferson's win over Riverdale," 7 Oct. 2020 Orange County will stop all work on a $600 million convention center expansion — a project that records show was already threatening to balloon far over budget even as tax collections collapse amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Stephen Hudak, orlandosentinel.com, "Orange County will halt all work on controversial convention center expansion," 31 Aug. 2020 Mountain fortresses, a formidable army that would balloon in wartime, and a small, but powerful fleet of fighter planes made invading the alpine country a risky proposition. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Switzerland Hasn't Gone to War in 200 Years. Why Does It Need New Fighter Jets?," 23 Sep. 2020 Similarly, a reliever can see things balloon because of one bad outing. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles reset: Next time the team is at Camden Yards, expect plenty of changes on the field," 21 Sep. 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

23 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Balloon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/balloon. Accessed 29 Oct. 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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