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 sometimes rainy afternoon was all about kids, with stilt walkers, balloon animals, face painting, magicians, jugglers, bubble fun, bouncy slides, an obstacle course, a bungie bounce, carnival games, the Jungle Terry Animal Show and pony rides. Linda Gandee/special To Cleveland.com, cleveland.com, "Avon Lake closes out bicentennial year with July 4 city celebration," 8 July 2019 There will also be a DJ and family activities: Browse yoga pants while your kids get their faces painted and snag balloon animals. Kara Baskin, BostonGlobe.com, "Time for a summer sidewalk sale in Chestnut Hill," 5 July 2019 There also will be fun activities for families with children, Testa said, noting TwistiCity’s Scott Ingerson returns with his balloon animals and creations and is joined by a giant bubble show. Dennis Sullivan, Daily Southtown, "Popular Ridge Art Fair & Festival to feature 42 exhibitors showcasing original works in Beverly," 16 June 2019 Better World Imaginarium, a new toy and bookstore on Frederick Road in Catonsville, will have its grand opening Friday, June 14, at 924 Frederick Road with free Rita’s Italian Ice, balloon animals and crafts. Cody Boteler, baltimoresun.com, "New toy store on Frederick Road aims to build a 'Better World'," 11 June 2019 Family games begin in Shamrock Park with a water balloon toss at 9 a.m., a costume contest at 10, Uncle Sam Says at 11 and a watermelon eating contest for kids and adults at 11:30. Baltimore Sun, baltimoresun.com, "Darlington kicks off Harford's Independence Day celebrations with parade, fireworks on June 29," 26 June 2019 Fossett was famous for being the first person to fly solo in a balloon nonstop around the world. James Herrera, The Mercury News, "Monterey compound featured in ‘Basic Instinct’ lists for $52 million," 21 June 2019 There could be as many as five Venus missions (including a balloon) among the dozens of proposals to study various objects in space. Shannon Hall, Scientific American, "Venus, Earth’s Evil Twin, Beckons Space Agencies," 12 June 2019 Chad Wright, a nuisance wildlife trapper with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, used a long prod to press a balloon against Amos' teeth a few times before their pet spilled the secret. Tiffini Theisen, orlandosentinel.com, "Florida couple uses pet alligator for gender reveal for family’s 10th child," 12 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Set to arrive this fall, its budget has reportedly ballooned past the $150 million mark. Isaac Feldberg, BostonGlobe.com, "Ben Affleck’s ‘Triple Frontier’ flop is reportedly making Netflix more budget-conscious," 7 July 2019 Souvenirs from his time include a fortune worth of silk window treatments — draped, swagged, fringed, puddled or ballooned — that reach past 20 feet tall in the living room. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, "$2.35M Bloomfield Hills home comes with 2 kitchens and a tree house," 29 June 2019 Now ballooning past 240,000 residents, Gilbert is the largest municipality in the U.S. to not have a resting place for its residents. Riley Murdock, azcentral, "For decades, you couldn't be born or buried in Gilbert. That will soon change," 24 June 2019 But as postwar wages ballooned across North America, the market for consumer goods was growing, and A.J. Freidman also couldn't pass up a host of potential shoppers, even if they were geographically scattered. Michael Waters, Smithsonian, "‘Vis-O-Matic’ Was the 1950s Version of Online Shopping," 20 June 2019 The sharp drop in suspensions comes on the heels of a 2018 Courier Journal investigation that found the district's use of the out-of-school punishment had ballooned 240% since 2015. Mandy Mclaren, The Courier-Journal, "After a steep increase, JCPS continues its dramatic drop in elementary suspensions," 18 June 2019 Based on these models, which accurately reproduce the formation of all the other planets, Neptune and Uranus should have ballooned in size like the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn. Daniel Oberhaus, WIRED, "Neptune Is a Windy, Chilly, and Baffling Planet. Let's Go!," 17 June 2019 Since reverse mortgages assume the home will continue to appreciate, loan balances in some cases ballooned well past the market value of a post-recession home. USA Today, "Seniors were sold a risk-free retirement with reverse mortgages. Now they face foreclosure.," 12 June 2019 Additionally, the island still has not recovered from years of economic woes, fueled in part by a ballooning debt. Camilo Montoya-galvez, CBS News, "Some progressives worry Puerto Rico is being left behind on 2020 campaign trail," 7 June 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.

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

14 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

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

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

food or victuals

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!