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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Facebook page of the People’s Motorcade, the organization that rents out the Baby Trump balloons, contains a link on how to report GoFundMe fraud. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, "Fundraiser for Hoyt Hutchinson, Alabama man who stabbed Baby Trump balloon, tops $42,000," 12 Nov. 2019 The balloon, which is over 20 feet (6.1 meters) tall, was set up in a nearby park. Washington Post, "‘Baby Trump’ balloon slashed at Alabama appearance," 10 Nov. 2019 The crowd, many carrying white and silver balloons, launched them into the sky. Jean Marbella, baltimoresun.com, "Tears and balloons at vigil for Carver student Kayla Perry, killed in collision," 25 Oct. 2019 The union team sat at tables in front of a collection of red balloons, many with sad, perplexed or angry faces drawn on them. Leslie Postal, orlandosentinel.com, "Orange teachers union rejects district offer," 23 Oct. 2019 Less than two minutes later on the other end of the food court, a balloon popped between someone’s legs. Brooke Baitinger, sun-sentinel.com, "In the age of mass shootings, terror waits at the mall," 18 Oct. 2019 The energy filled the out-of-the-way Guerrero dance hall like helium in a balloon, expanding with the buena onda of people spinning and smiling. Megan Spurrell, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Dance Halls of Mexico City Show Off a Different Side of the City," 14 Oct. 2019 Cupertino, with a population of some 60,000, balloons to about 150,000 people weekdays thanks to a huge influx of commuters, most of them headed to the city’s largest employer, Apple. Carolyn Said, SFChronicle.com, "On-demand shuttles to serve Apple hometown’s ‘transit desert’," 7 Oct. 2019 As Garcia was performing a cheer routine at a recent football game, Cowan surprised her on the field with flowers balloons and, of course, the biggest question of the night. Aj Willingham, CNN, "A cheerleader hero, a fresh start for an amazing artist, and some gloriously fat bears," 4 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In the run-up to the financial crisis, that transfer started to balloon. The Economist, "Steven Mnuchin begins reforming America’s giant mortgage-guarantee firms," 14 Sep. 2019 That will allow the residential population to balloon by 248 percent from 20,800 people in 2012 to 72,400 people in 2050, according to the plan. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Can Mission Valley handle 50,000 more residents?," 8 Sep. 2019 That would have meant pausing her loan repayment, putting her credit score in jeopardy, and allowing interest to balloon. Lila Maclellan, Quartz at Work, "Lessons from a young professional who just finished repaying $222,817.26 of student loans," 22 Aug. 2019 The victory improved the club to 25-34 and helped them maintain a 16.5-game deficit in the National League West, a number only expected to balloon this summer. Kerry Crowley, The Mercury News, "Giants’ emotional win a preview of the painful days that lie ahead," 5 June 2019 Officials in Beijing have allowed BRI estimates to balloon for political gains, but Chinese lending has been declining and faces head winds. Jonathan Hillman, Twin Cities, "Jonathan Hillman: Five myths about China’s Belt and Road Initiative," 3 June 2019 While Florida's snakes are quite large, they've been known to balloon up to freakish proportions across the world, in their native Asian habitats: One python captured in Malaysia in 2016 notched a length of around 26 feet. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Researchers Capture the Biggest Snake Ever Found in the Florida Everglades," 8 Apr. 2019 In order to enact their master plan, Yanis first has to convince the EU to modify the payment terms of Greece’s massive debt (which had ballooned to €300 billion by 2015), giving his country a helping hand in rebuilding its economy. Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Adults in the Room': Film Review | Venice 2019," 31 Aug. 2019 The event, which has ballooned to be possibly the largest offering of bock-style beers by one brewery at one time, marks Sly Fox’s release of Maibock, its most popular beer, named in honor of the victor. Bethany Ao, Philly.com, "The cutthroat goat races of Sly Fox Brewery's annual Bock Fest," 7 May 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about balloon

Statistics for balloon

Last Updated

17 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for balloon

The first known use of balloon was in 1783

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on balloon

What made you want to look up balloon? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

concealed or difficult to comprehend

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!