blow·up | \ˈblō-ˌəp \
plural blowups

Definition of blowup 

(Entry 1 of 3)

: a blowing up: such as

a : explosion

b : an outburst of temper

c : enlargement sense 2

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 \

Definition of blow-up (Entry 2 of 3)

blow 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

blast, burst, bursting, detonation, eruption, explosion, outburst

Synonyms: Verb

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

Antonyms: Noun


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

Two months ago, a brief blowup between the two countries led President Trump to briefly cancel, then reschedule, his summit meeting with Mr. Kim. New York Times, "North Korea Criticizes ‘Gangster-Like’ U.S. Attitude After Talks With Mike Pompeo," 7 July 2018 Tents come with blowup mattresses, coolers and ice, and guests have access to showers at a neighboring beach bar (from $149). Elaine Glusac, New York Times, "Glamping Slips Into the Mainstream," 15 June 2018 Wednesday’s ninth-inning blowup cost Jose Urena his first win of the season. Clark Spencer, miamiherald, "Brad Ziegler is out as Marlins closer after latest meltdown," 31 May 2018 Image Marvel Studios likes to supersize everything — its heroes, blowups, runtimes, opening theaters, market share and so on. Chris Mckenna, New York Times, "Review: ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ Save the World! With Jokes!," 4 July 2018 The political blowup comes just three days before a visit by Trump, who is highly unpopular in Britain. Laura King,, "British Prime Minister May's government appears in turmoil amid resignations tied to Brexit," 9 July 2018 The blowup was first reported by Axios and comes on the eve of Liu's visit to Washington on Thursday for the next round of trade talks with his US counterparts. Jeremy Diamond, CNN, "Peter Navarro and Steven Mnuchin feuded at Beijing trade talks," 16 May 2018 The Vixen is also still in her feelings about last week's blowup. Joey Guerra, Houston Chronicle, "'RuPaul's Drag Race' Season 10 recap: Cher-ing is not always caring," 10 May 2018 China’s crackdown on shadow banking has caused some high-profile blowups. Jacky Wong, WSJ, "Chinese Auto Sales Run Into a Lending Roadblock," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

This Cal commit is ready to blow up offensive lines his senior season with his versatility to play anywhere across the line. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Top 10 Arizona high school football defensive tackles for 2018," 12 July 2018 After blowing up the luggage, officials say, the situation was deemed safe. Monique O. Madan, miamiherald, "Bomb squad blew up a suitcase near Bayfront Park. Roads reopen after shutdown," 1 July 2018 And justices often are cautious about blowing up precedents. CBS News, "Supreme Court could limit, but not eliminate, abortion rights," 29 June 2018 Let’s review the tape on the Sage of Searchlight, Nevada, because Harry Reid made this moment possible by blowing up the filibuster for judicial nominees. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Harry Reid, Republican Mastermind," 28 June 2018 Kupchak has said repeatedly since taking the job in April that the intent is not to blow up the roster wholesale. Rick Bonnell, charlotteobserver, "Charlotte Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak on Kemba Walker, roster reconstruction," 22 June 2018 At 5:30 o'clock this afternoon, Lloyd's issued a statement that the Lusitania was believed to have been blown up by an infernal machine., "May 7, 1915: Lusitania Torpedoed," 7 May 2018 Fans noticed that the current pics looked more like throwbacks to her pre-lip injection days and blew up the comments with speculation. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Kylie Jenner Removed ALL Her Lip Fillers and She Legit Looks Like Old Kylie Again," 9 July 2018 Lenin’s statue was not blown up, and no one was injured in the fire. The Economist, "As the World Cup begins, Russia should free Oleg Sentsov," 14 June 2018

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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Learn More about blowup

Dictionary Entries near blowup

blow town




blow up



Statistics for blowup

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

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

See words that rhyme with blowup

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for blowup

Comments on blowup

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