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 The unexpected moment occurred when Seacrest, 45, attempted to catch a gold balloon. Jodi Guglielmi, PEOPLE.com, "Ryan Seacrest Falls off His Chair on Live with Kelly and Ryan: 'First Fumble of the New Season'," 7 Jan. 2020 From climbing sand dunes and soaring above the Namib desert in a hot air balloon, to taking in the breathtaking sight of the Atlantic Ocean meeting the desert sands in Walvis Bay, there is no shortage of adventure in Namibia. Danielle Pointdujour, Essence, "5 Trips Every Black Woman Should Take For Adventure This Year," 6 Jan. 2020 Jane receives eight weeks of outplacement services—resume review, a rewrite of her LinkedIn profile and a couple of phone sessions with a career counselor who lives in Dallas—and a balloon. Lauren Weber, WSJ, "A Counterintuitive Fix for Robot-Driven Unemployment," 6 Jan. 2020 The photos show what looks like an incredible vacation, complete with breakfast in a hot air balloon. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Cara Delevingne Surprised Ashley Benson with a Trip to Morocco for Her 30th Birthday," 23 Dec. 2019 There are moving parts—a rocking seesaw and an airborne hot air balloon—and Christmas tunes piped in on a constant loop. Eric Spitznagel, Popular Mechanics, "Who Did 'DITTO' First?," 19 Dec. 2019 Weather conditions along the Florida coast are more sedate as of Thursday morning, but meteorologists will still need to send up a weather balloon to provide in-situ data about conditions in the mid and upper levels of the atmosphere. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "On its second attempt, SpaceX sends Dragon soaring to the ISS [Updated]," 5 Dec. 2019 Those can include extra-long tweezers or a catheter with a balloon on the end. Markian Hawryluk And Heidi De Marco, chicagotribune.com, "Nothing to sneeze at: The $2,659 bill to pluck doll’s shoe from child’s nostril," 2 Dec. 2019 Those can include extra-long tweezers or a catheter with a balloon on the end. Markian Hawryluk, azcentral, "Nothing to sneeze at: $2,659 bill to pluck doll’s shoe from child’s nostril," 27 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Critics say those tactics are akin to the War on Drugs in the 1980s and 1990s and worry those tactics will lead the federal prison population to balloon. Eric Heisig, cleveland, "Attorney General William Barr to visit Cleveland police station Thursday," 20 Nov. 2019 This season brings together a diverse group of DIY-ers from woodworkers to balloon artists and calligraphists to costume makers. Aurelie Corinthios, PEOPLE.com, "Making It: Meet the 10 Makers Competing on Season 2 of Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman's Show," 13 Nov. 2019 The company expects that number to balloon up to possibly 200GB per month by 2025. Mike Murphy, Quartz, "From dial-up to 5G: a complete guide to logging on to the internet," 29 Oct. 2019 The downturn followed Portugal’s 78 billion-euro ($85.6 billion) bailout in 2011, after a Socialist government had allowed the budget deficit to balloon above 11%. Barry Hatton, San Diego Union-Tribune, "A look at the issues in Portugal’s general election," 5 Oct. 2019 In a story documenting Australia’s ballooning opioid crisis earlier this year, The Associated Press reported that Mundipharma was facing accusations from a local doctor and a doctors’ group that its Targin advertising was misleading. Washington Post, "Australia fines Sackler-owned opioid maker over advertising," 24 Dec. 2019 The reason the number has ballooned: Schools can be deemed low-performing in more categories in their report cards than in the past. Laura Hancock, cleveland, "With Feb. 1 deadline looming, Ohio House seeks to change school voucher program," 19 Dec. 2019 What if BlackPlanet—which predated even Friendster—had ballooned into a global diasporic nerve center? Jason Parham, Wired, "We Should Seriously Consider Segregating the Web," 17 Dec. 2019 There is support across the political spectrum for an end to austerity, even at the price of ballooning deficits. BostonGlobe.com, "You're using a browser set to private or incognito mode.," 14 Dec. 2019

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

13 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Balloon.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ballooned. Accessed 17 January 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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