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

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 Osbourne tweeted an apology for the blowup with Underwood and denied that allegations raised in Ali's reporting in a statement from her spokesperson, Howard Bragman. Lisa Respers France, CNN, "'The Talk' returns with Sheryl Underwood remarks and an episode on race," 12 Apr. 2021 For many, parallels between the 1998 blowup of Long-Term Capital Management and Hwang’s forced liquidation of more than $20 billion worth of stocks on March 26 were too strong for comfort. William Pesek, Forbes, "Nouriel Roubini’s Worries About Another Financial Crash Aren’t Crazy," 9 Apr. 2021 Since then, the bank has been touched by nearly every major financial blowup: Luckin Coffee, Wirecard, Greensill and now Archegos. Rochelle Toplensky, WSJ, "Credit Suisse’s Turnaround Is Just Beginning," 6 Apr. 2021 But there is a wrinkle: Some of the roots of the Archegos blowup also can be traced back to postcrisis regulation. Rochelle Toplensky, WSJ, "Archegos’s Collapse Is a Wakeup Call for Regulators," 31 Mar. 2021 Japanese authorities are now looking at Nomura’s role in the blowup. Fortune, "The Bill Hwang-Archegos debacle ends Nomura CEO’s ‘remarkable’ turnaround effort," 31 Mar. 2021 Top diplomats from the U.S. and China had a public blowup in front of reporters Thursday as the two global powers met in Alaska to discuss policy and attempt to restore ties that have become increasingly strained in recent years. NBC News, "Biden and Harris to meet with Asian American leaders, U.S.- China summit spat and climate message goes underwater," 19 Mar. 2021 The point is underscored by a wall-sized blowup of a 2013 Ginsburg portrait by Washington Post photographer Nikki Kahn, displayed in the show’s final gallery. Steven Litt, cleveland, "‘Notorious RBG’ exhibit charts Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s crusade for equal rights and rise to iconic status," 28 Feb. 2021 The Newsmax-Lindell blowup went semi-viral on social media and received some news coverage. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Dominion Voting Systems’ Legal Rampage Against Trump’s Grifters," 24 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Ansonia students were home Friday morning after the FBI contacted Ansonia police about a threat to blow up the middle school. Jessika Harkay,, "Ansonia students sent home after bomb threat Friday morning," 26 Mar. 2021 The Raiders' puzzling decision to blow up their offensive line was the Cardinals' gain. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona Cardinals a big NFL free agency winner, one of most improved teams," 22 Mar. 2021 These all had the potential to blow up in his face and now have. WSJ, "Cuomo and the Covid Death Count," 12 Mar. 2021 There are some Orlando fans and NBA analysts out there who believe the Magic, with the NBA trade deadline approaching at the end of March, should blow up their roster, deal Vucevic and start all over. Mike Bianchi,, "Hallelujah, Magic All-Star Nikola Vucevic says he’d still rather be in Orlando | Commentary," 9 Mar. 2021 To see her new face, Tarleton has to get very close to the mirror, or take a photo with her iPad and blow up the picture. Wendy Grossman Kantor,, "Woman Has Second Face Transplant After Her First Causes Terrible Pain," 22 Feb. 2021 Graham, the eldest of the trio, has seen his recruitment blow up in recent months. Adam Lichtenstein,, "Talented Stranahan trio looking to boost the Mighty Dragons and their college prospects," 18 Mar. 2021 Some of our friends think Democrats couldn’t blow up the 60-vote legislative filibuster rule with a mere 50 votes. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "What’s at Stake in Georgia," 1 Jan. 2021 The dogs are free-casting along a wash at the bottom of a nameless canyon in the Atascosa Mountains a few miles north of the Mexican border, silently nosing for lion scent, when all eight blow up. Bill Heavey, Field & Stream, "F&S Classics: The Lion Dogs," 30 Dec. 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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Statistics for blowup

Last Updated

16 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Blowup.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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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

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