blow·​up | \ ˈblō-ˌəp How to pronounce blowup (audio) \
plural blowups

Definition of blowup

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a blowing up: such as
b : an outburst of temper
d : a catastrophic financial failure or collapse Sometime in the next few years, a blowup is likely—one that could sink an already foundering economy.— David Henry


\ ˈblō-ˌəp How to pronounce blow-up (audio) \

Definition of blow-up (Entry 2 of 3)

blow up

blew up; blown up; blowing up; blows up

Definition of blow up (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to build up or tout to an unreasonable extent advertisers blowing up their products
2 : to rend apart, shatter, or destroy by explosion
3 : to fill up with a gas (such as air) blow up a balloon
4 : to make a photographic enlargement of
5 : to bring into existence by blowing of wind it may blow up a storm

intransitive verb

1a : explode
b : to be disrupted or destroyed (as by explosion)
c : to lose self-control especially : to become violently angry
2 : to become or come into being by or as if by blowing of wind
3a : to become filled with a gas
b : to become expanded to unreasonable proportions
c : to gain a large amount of weight In the ensuing two years Gibson blew up to more than 400 pounds as he ate an over-abundance of fast foods …— Tim Crothers
4 : to suddenly become very successful, prevalent, or popular Latin-tinged pop is blowing up because it fits the musical times: …— Christopher John Farley

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Synonyms & Antonyms for blowup

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of blowup in a Sentence

Noun The blowup of the photograph was easy to frame. The two of them had a big blowup about something trivial. The coach's latest blowup occurred when one of his players arrived late. Verb she blew up at everybody after a very long and very bad day the building blew up because of a gas leak
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There’s a good chance that your blowup mattress has seen better days. Cnn Underscored Staff, CNN Underscored, "All the best Black Friday deals you can shop at Amazon," 27 Nov. 2020 About the only conceivable circumstance in which the Fed would try to restart its emergency lending programs is if there was another blowup in the credit markets. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "A Brazen Republican Power Play Is Blocking Essential COVID-19 Relief," 19 Dec. 2020 There’s a good chance that your blowup mattress has seen better days. Cnn Underscored Staff, CNN Underscored, "All the best Black Friday deals you can shop at Amazon," 27 Nov. 2020 There’s a good chance that your blowup mattress has seen better days. Cnn Underscored Staff, CNN Underscored, "All the best Black Friday deals you can shop at Amazon," 27 Nov. 2020 There’s a good chance that your blowup mattress has seen better days. Cnn Underscored Staff, CNN Underscored, "All the best Black Friday deals you can shop at Amazon right now," 26 Nov. 2020 Some of the slack was picked up by non-bank lenders, or shadow banks, but one of the most prominent -- Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd. -- became the first major blowup in 2018 in what became known as India’s mini-Lehman moment. Jeanette Rodrigues,, "Why India’s Financial Sector Keeps Blowing Up," 12 Mar. 2020 Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, 97, is calling for the U.S. and China to establish rules of engagement for their rising competition on the global stage or risk leading into a blowup similar to World War I. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "Henry Kissinger: US and China tensions reaching escalations that led to World War I," 8 Oct. 2020 The blowup, which involved defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver, resulted in O'Brien losing the trust of his players and staff, according to reports. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, "Practice blowup between J.J. Watt, Bill O'Brien preceded coach's firing, per reports," 8 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But if the convention -- blow up that conventional wisdom. NBC News, "Meet the Press - January 3, 2021," 3 Jan. 2021 But the solution isn’t to blow up the system, ignoring the will of the people as expressed at the ballot box. Rahm Emanuel, WSJ, "Biden’s Win for the American System," 28 Dec. 2020 But cases and hospitalizations have continued to blow up in the more than two weeks since. Erin Allday,, "Stakes in stay-home order higher this time around in Bay Area," 5 Dec. 2020 Yet when the maps are recalibrated for population rather than area, the blue areas blow up, expanding to smother half the country — a graphical metaphor for the dominant cultural influence of city over country. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "The Rural Way," 24 Nov. 2020 Why there is popular backing to blow up a system that has delivered so much success is hard to understand. Mary Anastasia O’grady, WSJ, "Chile’s Suicide Mission," 18 Oct. 2020 Federal authorities said domestic terrorist Tim McVeigh hatched a plan with Terry Nichols in Evergreen Township near Decker in rural Sanilac County in 1995 to blow up Oklahoma City's Murrah Federal Building, which killed168 people. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Legal experts reveal one reason Gov. Whitmer kidnap case is strong," 9 Oct. 2020 Maduro, an adversary of the United States, also said Venezuelan authorities had dismantled another plot to blow up a refinery in Carabobo state. Washington Post, "World Digest: Sept. 12, 2020," 12 Sep. 2020 Bayeligh breaks down after that when Tyler is trying to calm her down and tell her not to blow up everyone's game by talking more to Dani, which is of course because Tyler wants to continue playing both sides of the house. Kyle Fowle,, "Big Brother recap: Two new nominations, and three new secret powers are revealed," 7 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'blowup.' 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 blowup


1757, in the meaning defined above


1850, in the meaning defined above


1536, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for blowup

Time Traveler

The first known use of blowup was in 1536

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Statistics for blowup

Last Updated

10 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Blowup.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for blowup


How to pronounce blow up (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of blowup

: a photograph that has been made larger
: an angry argument
: an occurrence in which someone becomes very angry : an angry outburst

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