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

Other events in Bel Air on July 4 include flag-raising ceremonies; the traditional pancake breakfast; horseshoe pitching; family entertainments including water balloon toss, watermelon eating, costume contests, Uncle Sam Says and a bicycle rodeo. Baltimore Sun, baltimoresun.com, "Bel Air July 4 parade deadline extended to June 20, units request more time," 10 June 2019 There were long lines at the dunk tank, face painting and balloon animal booths. Diane Dachota, chicagotribune.com, "Gathering on the Green moves to Saturday with rides and music," 10 June 2019 The balloon’s form begins with orange skin, small hands, and an amber wave of mane. Richard Morgan, Fortune, "The Story Behind the Baby Trump Balloon," 8 June 2019 So does trying to toss a ring around the neck of a plastic duck, or throwing a baseball at a row of beer bottles or shooting a water gun to make a balloon blow up. Steve Rubenstein, SFChronicle.com, "Follow the smell of deep-fried Twinkies. Soon you’ll be at the San Mateo fair," 7 June 2019 Each September, the Medora Hot Air Balloon Rally paints Medora's skies with dozens of bright balloons, transforming North Dakota's badlands into a brilliant burst of color. Laura Kiniry, Smithsonian, "The 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2019," 6 June 2019 Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a balloon-whisk attachment; beat on medium-low speed until frothy, then increase the speed to medium-high and beat until thick and pillowy. Martha Holmberg, Twin Cities, "The secret to a light, airy, textbook souffle? Stop trying so hard.," 5 June 2019 The balloon vehicle that World View has been testing is the company’s Stratollite system. Loren Grush, The Verge, "World View keeps one of its high-altitude balloons afloat for a full 16 days," 5 June 2019 Meanwhile, a balloon-like creature that resembled a jellyfish washed up on a separate North Carolina beach on Sunday. Fox News, "‘Weird’ worm-like object found on North Carolina shore has experts puzzled," 5 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Seattle’s cap charge for Chancellor (in 2018) would balloon to $19.5 million by releasing him while acknowledging that the injury will prevent his return. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "Kam Chancellor Instagram photo aside, retirement remains an unlikely option anytime soon," 27 Jan. 2018 At the turn of the 20th century, Tulsa experienced an oil boom and its population ballooned from about 1,300 to more than 140,000 residents in 40 years. Teen Vogue, "Black Wall Street and the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, Explained," 31 May 2019 The cost of the LRLAP projectile, originally pegged at $50,000 each, ballooned to $800,000 each making them unaffordable to even the mighty U.S. Navy. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "After Only 3 Years in Service, the USS Zumwalt’s Mission Is Changing," 17 May 2019 The continent boasts the world’s fastest-growing population, some of its most swiftly expanding economies and a ballooning domestic-travel market driven by Africa’s expanding middle class. ... Alexandra Wexler, WSJ, "Western Hotel Brands Supercharge African Expansion," 1 May 2019 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

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

16 Jun 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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