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 But government officials are warning shop owners not sell Valentine’s Day balloons, which are popular in town. Somayeh Malekian, ABC News, "Stores in Tehran told to stop selling Valentine's Day gifts," 13 Feb. 2020 Fans spontaneously swarmed Staples Center within hours of the Jan. 26 crash, creating a massive memorial of flowers, balloons, jerseys, stuffed toys and basketballs. Washington Post, "AP Source: Bryant memorial set for Feb. 24 at Staples Center," 6 Feb. 2020 Almost everything was shaded red and gold in the parking lot, including past and present jerseys, 20-foot balloons, smoking grills and music aplenty. Rusty Simmons, SFChronicle.com, "49ers vs. Packers NFC title game live updates: Bustling pregame sets stage," 19 Jan. 2020 At a meeting in Madrid in 2019, scientists proposed sending a pair of orbiters, a handful of landers, a balloon, and rocket which would return samples to Earth. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "This Is Venus, Earth's Boiling Twin," 5 Jan. 2020 Other games included cup stacking in which Kennedy Brown flourished, gingerbread house decorating, envelope and bell whistle tosses, blowing cups off a ledge with balloons, and more. Mikayla Pivec | For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Mikayla Pivec’s Oregon State women’s basketball diary: 12-0 but far from perfect, Christmas parties, reflecting on the passing of Chad Finn," 3 Jan. 2020 About 31% of cardiogenic shock patients treated with the device had major bleeding, compared with 16% for patients treated with the balloon, Dhruva's team found. Dennis Thompson, chicagotribune.com, "Expensive device used in heart procedures might pose dangers: Study," 28 Nov. 2019 Last October the agency field-tested one of these vehicles: dropped from a high-altitude balloon at night, a glider successfully delivered a three-pound package to a spot 100 miles away. Prachi Patel, Scientific American, "Disappearing Plastics Stay Strong in the Shadows and Melt Away in the Sun," 26 Aug. 2019 Many balloons, amazing food, a floral display, and a Kylie Cosmetics diamond necklace. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Kylie Jenner Is Celebrating Her Birthday With an Incredible Vacation in Italy," 10 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2017, the pipeline initially was projected to cost about $5 billion but has ballooned in price with multiple delays. Robert Barnes, Washington Post, "U.S. Supreme Court to decide winner in case of gas pipeline vs. Appalachian Trail," 23 Feb. 2020 When Devonte Green found his range from behind the 3-point line late in the half, the old building erupted, and IU’s lead ballooned to 19 points. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "IU basketball puts one foot into NCAA tournament with win over No. 9 Penn State," 23 Feb. 2020 As his debts ballooned to tens of thousands of dollars, Nangle tapped campaign funds to supplement his personal finances instead of using the funds for permissible campaign purposes, the indictment read. Aaron Katersky, ABC News, "Massachusetts Rep. David Nangle arrested for financial fraud, had gambling debts: FBI, IRS," 18 Feb. 2020 There were more competitors popping up, and as the company ballooned from a few dozen employees to more than 300 spread across North America and Europe, the strategy that yielded wins in the early days began to falter. Sheila Marikar, Marie Claire, "The Birchbox Mafia," 14 Feb. 2020 Hong Kong has also requested that universities extend the vacation given the threat from the virus, which has spread to five people in Hong Kong and ballooned to over 1,300 cases worldwide. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "Hong Kong declares state of emergency over coronavirus," 25 Jan. 2020 The crowd grew as the sky lightened, ballooning to more than 70 people. Sara Cline, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio ID Recovery program is first step to getting out of homelessness," 18 Jan. 2020 By 2006, asking prices for Street of Dreams properties in Oregon City’s Hidden Lake Estates reached $3 million and square footage ballooned to 7,000 and beyond, about triple the U.S. average. oregonlive, "Some of the last decade’s excessive design and decor stays: You’ll see more farmhouses, midcentury moderns and dwellings for multi-generations," 2 Jan. 2020 But the Bluejays kept getting layups and three-pointers and their lead eventually ballooned to 25 points. Ben Steele, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Creighton 92, Marquette 75: Ugly loss to start Big East," 1 Jan. 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

24 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

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