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 Just like that, Jeanne’s elaborate ruse was punctured, and the whole thing deflated with sickening speed, like a hot air balloon falling from the sky. Tori Telfer, refinery29.com, "The Sordid Tale Of The Woman Who Scammed Marie-Antoinette," 23 Feb. 2021 The dispute in Sweden involves the proposal by a team of Harvard scientists to launch a scientific balloon in June from Kiruna, Sweden's northernmost town, to try to replicate the temperature-depressing effects seen from major volcanic eruptions. Chris Reed, Star Tribune, "Greens who object to geoengineering put planet at risk," 12 Feb. 2021 In particular, unlike a balloon, the universe could be infinite in extent. Alan Lightman, The Atlantic, "‘It Seems That I Know How the Universe Originated’," 8 Feb. 2021 Loon had two challenges: the technological leap to deliver internet by balloon, and making the business case that people would pay for it. Steven Levy, Wired, "Alphabet Pops Loon’s Balloons—but Won't Call It a Failure," 21 Jan. 2021 His scientist parents had flown a balloon to the stratosphere in 1934. Penelope Green, New York Times, "Don Piccard, a Pioneer Who Soared, Is Dead at 94," 13 Oct. 2020 Oversize outfits can be intimidating, triggering memories of 1980s shoulder pads and balloon pants. Cassandra Hogan, Town & Country, "How to Wear Oversize Styles," 25 Jan. 2021 The shape is generally the same—a pair of pants with a drawstring and elastic cuffs on the ankles, lending a roomy balloon-like shape. Sarah Spellings, Vogue, "All The Ways We Styled Sweats This Year," 23 Dec. 2020 Moments later, when the second verdict is announced, Simpson’s mouth expands into a smile, like a balloon inflating. Washington Post, "At the Hirshhorn, six online art videos ask how media shapes memory," 16 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That figure will balloon in the days to come as more doses are administered and more hospitals update their data. Cassidy Morrison, Washington Examiner, "Tens of thousands vaccinated with more to come in next weeks," 18 Dec. 2020 That promise, combined with a $69 billion acquisition of chemicals maker Saudi Basic Industries Corp., has seen debt levels balloon even with Aramco cutting capital expenditure and laying-off hundreds of foreign workers. Matthew Martin, Fortune, "Saudi Aramco is still promising a dividend—even though it hasn’t got the cash," 3 Nov. 2020 That number would balloon to five in 2019 and nine in 2020. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "The One Number That Explains the NBA’s 3-Point Revolution," 21 Jan. 2021 But lawmakers didn’t foresee the surge in diabetes — the leading cause of kidney failure — and the numbers began to balloon. Lizzie Presser, ProPublica, "For years, JaMarcus Crews tried to get a new kidney, but corporate healthcare stood in the way.," 15 Dec. 2020 In explaining the decision, the university cited an athletics budget deficit that existed before the pandemic and was projected to balloon to $25 million during the 2021 fiscal year. Annie Martin, orlandosentinel.com, "UCF Foundation to aid cash-strapped athletics department," 17 Nov. 2020 Advancements in computing, data storage and global digital connectivity enabled major tech firms to balloon in size, said Dipayan Ghosh, co-director of the Digital Platforms and Democracy Project at the Harvard Kennedy School. Jill Disis, CNN, "The year the world gave up waiting for Big Tech to fix itself," 28 Dec. 2020 Health and government officials are warning that holiday travel and large in-person gatherings will exacerbate an already critical situation as the number of cases continues to balloon despite vaccine distribution starting. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "Week of Christmas TSA screenings down more than 50% from last year," 26 Dec. 2020 With Boykin teleworking and the boys learning online, everyone is home all day, which has caused their water and electricity bills to balloon. Angela Roberts, baltimoresun.com, "As 2020 draws to a close, thousands of Maryland families are at risk of eviction," 18 Dec. 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

26 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Balloon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/balloon. Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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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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