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

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 That no longer seems a probable outcome following Hammel's third consecutive blowup. Jesse Newell, kansascity, "Why Hammel's struggles — including in a 10-5 loss — come at a bad time for the Royals," 6 July 2018 Talib and Suh have each been previously been suspended by the NFL for unsportsmanlike conduct, and Peters was banned for one game by Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid after a blowup last year. Lindsay H. Jones, USA TODAY, "Rams hope their defensive chemistry experiment will be explosive in the right way," 13 June 2018 The social media blowup, which pitted Rhymefest against West’s spouse Kim Kardashian West, was the first public sign of problems. Morgan Greene,, "After Twitter beef, Chicago nonprofit no longer named for Kanye West's late mother," 5 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Buck Farmer was blown up in the eighth inning, allowing a pair of home runs. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers' Michael Fulmer erratic in 9-2 loss vs. Los Angeles Angels," 29 May 2018 The shocking moment when the galactic capital is blown up by the bad guys also raised eyebrows. Brendan Nystedt, WIRED, "Solo: A Star Wars Story," 29 May 2018 The authors speculate that may be because they’ll be blown up in front of members of the international media later this month. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "North Korea Appears to Be Shutting Down Its Nuke-Testing Site," 15 May 2018 She was arrested and our worlds were just blown up. Gayle Rose: …there's some part of me, to be honest with you, that doesn't want to believe that, and just can't, can't take that in. Josh Gelman, CBS News, "New twist in probe of slain NBA star Lorenzen Wright," 12 May 2018 But this week, the brand is making a new foray into the sneaker game with something a little different: an A.P.C.-ified take on the dad sneaker trend that's blown up across in the industry. Jake Woolf, GQ, "A.P.C. Applies its Signature Minimalism to the Dad Sneaker," 12 Apr. 2018 After a crate of records was blown up at Comiskey Park, in 1979, people claimed that disco had died. David Kortava, The New Yorker, "The Seventies Reign at the Honeywell," 7 Apr. 2018 Resnik died in the the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger accident, along with her six crew mates, when the spacecraft blew up just 73 seconds into its flight Sullivan flew on three Space Shuttle flights between 1984 and 1992, logging 532 hours in space. Alex Stuckey, Houston Chronicle, "Three of NASA's first female astronaut recruits speaking at Space Center Houston this week," 25 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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Statistics for blowup

Last Updated

16 Aug 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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a magnificent or impressive array

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