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

Definition of blowup

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a blowing up: such as
a : explosion
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

Synonyms & Antonyms for blowup

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun People reported that Jeff addressed his longtime collaborator’s blowup at the Oscars at Dorian’s Through The Record Shop in Chicago, during the Closed Sessions Legend Conversation: DJ Jazzy Jeff last Thursday. Jude Zhu, Billboard, 13 Apr. 2022 To fully prove blowup, mathematicians need to show that, given the approximate singularity, a true one exists nearby. Quanta Magazine, 12 Apr. 2022 Spoelstra suggested Wednesday's blowup could help the Heat in the long run. Jace Evans, USA TODAY, 24 Mar. 2022 With its international reserves now totalling more than a third of its G.D.P., Putin’s Russia is far less vulnerable to the kind of financial blowup that Boris Yeltsin’s Russia experienced in 1998. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, 15 Feb. 2022 Those images will later sit alongside blowup photos and magazine covers of Amir. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 Feb. 2022 The wonder is not that there’s an occasional blowup; the wonder is that there has not yet been another civil war. Washington Post, 25 Jan. 2022 Also creating drama is, of course, the requisite blowup between Michael and Chris, but isn't that just par for the course at this point? Mary Sollosi,, 6 Nov. 2021 Many addiction experts saw the political blowup over crack pipes as having racist undertones. New York Times, 21 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But her pattern is to blow up at you, accuse you of lying, not speak to you and not change her ways. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, 23 Jan. 2022 Not one that encourages you to blow up your life for a fantasy., 4 Nov. 2021 In 2021, that was more than enough to blow up the charts. Luke Winkie, Wired, 1 June 2021 The men were arrested in October 2020 amid talk of raising $4,000 for an explosive that could blow up a bridge and stymie police after a kidnapping, according to trial evidence. CBS News, 8 Apr. 2022 The men were arrested in October 2020 amid talk of raising $4,000 for an explosive that could blow up a bridge and stymie police responding to a kidnapping, according to trial evidence. Arkansas Online, 2 Apr. 2022 The men were arrested in October 2020 amid talk of raising $4,000 for an explosive that could blow up a bridge and stymie police responding to a kidnapping, according to trial evidence. John Flesher And Ed White, USA TODAY, 1 Apr. 2022 The men were arrested in October 2020 amid talk of obtaining an explosive that could blow up a bridge and hold back police from responding to a kidnapping at Whitmer’s second home, according to trial testimony. NBC News, 31 Mar. 2022 The whole saga presaged a world in which art-rock bands and radio airplay seldom need each other to survive, and major labels are largely unwilling to invest in long-term creative growth for artists who don’t blow up quickly. Zach Schonfeld, Billboard, 25 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About blowup

Dictionary Entries Near blowup




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for blowup

Last Updated

10 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Blowup.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Eponyms: Words Named After People

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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