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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for blowup

Synonyms: Noun

explosion, fireworks, fit, hissy [chiefly Southern & southern Midland], hissy fit, huff, scene, tantrum

Synonyms: Verb

flare (up), flip (out) [slang]

Antonyms: Verb

calm (down), simmer down

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Examples of blowup in a Sentence


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.


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

Indeed, officials from the Department of Homeland Security were working to spread the program, which has already led to the return of about 10,000 to Mexico, before the latest blowup, though it has been plagued with scheduling glitches and delays. Jill Colvin, Washington Post, "Trump’s Mexico deal: a political win, even if it falls short," 9 June 2019 Homeland Security officials have been ramping up slowly, and were already working to spread the program along the border before the latest blowup. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump says US, Mexico reach agreement to prevent tariffs," 8 June 2019 Homeland Security officials have been ramping up slowly, and were already working to spread the program along the border before the latest blowup. Jill Colvin, Time, "President Trump Says Tariffs on Mexico Suspended Indefinitely," 8 June 2019 Those explosions can have pretty significant consequences when a fire breaks out near a concrete structure, but the actual process of how the blowups happen isn't very well understood by scientists. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Watch Concrete Blow Up When Heated (and See Why It Happens)," 6 May 2019 Though his blowup paddling-pool headpieces were easily a close second. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Born in Buffalo and Trained in London, Edwin Mohney Sources the Fabric for His Radical Ball Gowns at Kmart," 16 Feb. 2019 Bannon has not commented publicly on the university blowup, but the University of Chicago released a statement Thursday reaffirming its commitment to academic freedom. Susan Hogan, Washington Post, "Steve Bannon invitation sparks protests at University of Chicago," 26 Jan. 2018 The blowup created a field of satellite debris at that altitude. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "India's Anti-Satellite Test Could Threaten the International Space Station," 2 Apr. 2019 Little did Rosie know that her comments would turn out to be a major talking point in one of the biggest View blowups in the show's history six days later. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "What Really Happened on 'The View' Between Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Rosie O'Donnell," 27 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Biden’s initial bid for the prize in 1988 famously blew up when rivals unkindly publicized his plagiarism of a stump speech given by Neil Kinnock, a British Labour Party politician. Andrew Cockburn, Harper's magazine, "No Joe!," 10 June 2019 The smaller boulder, which weighed 2.3 million lbs, Colorado simply blew up, which must have been very satisfying. Sarah Todd, Quartz, "A giant boulder in Colorado offers a philosophical lesson for all of us," 8 June 2019 But the fate of the Christie-era Economic Development Authority (EDA) incentive programs, and an investigation into how they were shaped, have blown up into a battle royale in Trenton, carrying over to prime season for budget talks. Catherine Dunn,, "Gov. Murphy pushes new tax credit proposals, amid investigations of current program," 5 June 2019 The smaller of the two boulders, weighing 2.3 million pounds, was blown up May 27. The Denver Post, The Mercury News, "A huge rock is blocking a Colorado highway. Governor decides to leave it, call it a landmark.," 5 June 2019 And each year a 90s trend blows ups (read: chokers in 2016 and chunky kicks in 2019) and some retailers really nail providing these revivals to 90s and fashion enthusiasts alike. Teen Vogue, "Betsey Johnson x Urban Outfitters Collection is Making My 90s Dreams Come True," 13 May 2019 After all, our planet has been hit by some pretty big space rocks, including one that blew up over Chelyabinsk, Russia in 2013, shattering windows and injuring more than 1,200 people. NBC News, "Stopping 'Armageddon': This former astronaut is on a mission to save Earth from deadly asteroids," 10 July 2018 There's no Death Star to blow up, no fight to save the whole of humanity — just a gang of misfits trying to make a buck and not die in the process., "Solo: A Star Wars Story," 15 May 2018 After learning how to play guitar from YouTube tutorials, the heartthrob blew up on social media and ended up getting signed to Island Records in 2014 and releasing his first album in 2015. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "You Won't Believe How Big Shawn Mendes' Net Worth Is!," 19 Apr. 2019

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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Statistics for blowup

Last Updated

21 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for blowup

The first known use of blowup was in 1536

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More Definitions for blowup



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with blowup

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for blowup

Comments on blowup

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


showing courage and determination

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