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 So following the blowup about Linda's continued employment and, finally, ten minutes in, the '80s-tastic credits roll (what is this, The Good Wife?), a distracted and upset Betty heads to lunch with her girlfriends. Jean Bentley,, "Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story Episode 4 Recap: Gaslighter," 16 June 2020 So far, at least, there hasn’t been a blowup in the C.L.O. market to match what happened to the C.D.O. market in 2007 and 2008. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "The Coronavirus Is Exposing Wall Street’s Reckless Gamble on Bad Debt," 24 May 2020 In 2002, Wade created colorful airbrushed blowups of vintage photos of the Alamo, King Ranch and a trick-riding cowgirl in the AT&T Center’s Saddles and Spurs Clubs. Scott Huddleston,, "The artist who made cowboy boots an icon of San Antonio dies," 26 Dec. 2019 The plan later changed, and it was decided that a student would dress up as the cowboy and a blowup doll mannequin would be dressed up as the knight. NBC News, "Black mannequin was dragged by rope at Nevada high school football game," 24 Sep. 2019 Indeed, Trump’s overt threats directed at Amazon have resulted in the blowup of a $10-billion contract for high-tech services that the Pentagon awarded to Microsoft. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Trump again attacks the U.S. Postal Service with lies," 9 Apr. 2020 Set Up’ Dorit Kemsley with PuppyGate The Munchausen feud is far from the first blowup with Rinna at the center, but this season, the star has been on the sideline amid Puppygate involving castmates Dorit Kemsley, Kyle Richards and Lisa Vanderpump. Natalie Stone,, "Lisa Rinna Admits She Almost Quit RHOBH After Munchausen Drama with Yolanda Hadid," 11 July 2019 Plants in and around Detroit have seen emotional blowups on the assembly lines, work stoppages and frazzled management officials trying to stabilize the workforce while awaiting direction from corporate above. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "UAW plant leader's emotional day: Pleas to management and dread from the line," 24 Mar. 2020 His blowup had all his characteristic theatrics of prior such encounters. Dan Mclaughlin, National Review, "What the History of Small-State Presidential Candidates Tells Us about Biden’s Chances," 12 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Excess risk is what can often blow up your finances, in a bad way. Diane Herbst,, "5 Self-Made Millionaires Reveal the Best Money Advice They've Ever Received," 1 Aug. 2020 Beck: How did seeing those things blow up affect your friendship? Julie Beck, The Atlantic, "Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman Want to Expand the Vocabulary of Friendship," 10 July 2020 But these deals can blow up in spectacular fashion when markets and economies crash. Matt Egan, CNN, "Risky deals boomed during the bull market. Now some are blowing up," 29 June 2020 Masks of 17th-century British revolutionary Guy Fawkes, who tried to blow up Parliament in 1605, are staples at anti-establishment rallies. Washington Post, "A gallery of pain and protest," 10 June 2020 Earlier Wednesday, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced that charges had been filed against a man accused of selling homemade dynamite used to blow up ATMs in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley. Fox News, "Philadelphia US attorney slams local DA as 'not at all interested' in putting rioters, looters in jail," 4 June 2020 Under the wrong conditions transformers can become less efficient or even, in extremis, blow up. The Economist, "Hong Kong’s uncertain future Can Hong Kong remain a global financial centre?," 4 June 2020 Camden, New Jersey, fifty years ago, was just a boiling pot, and things would blow up all the time, and relationships between police and community leaders were fraught with tension and conflict. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "Bryan Stevenson on the Frustration Behind the George Floyd Protests," 1 June 2020 Lyn returns to her hometown of Boyle Heights prepared to blow up the life of her ex-boyfriend Johnny (Carlos Miranda), who has a girlfriend and a baby on the way. Ariana Romero,, "Vida May Be Over, But Creator Tanya Saracho Knows How Her Show Lives On," 31 May 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

8 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Blowup.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on blowup

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with blowup

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