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

The discrepancy seems odd, and the blowups work to overwhelm the photographs. Mark Feeney,, "At the Gardner: When some plans are bigger than others," 19 June 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Bomb technicians often are called upon to pick up fireworks and other explosive devices found by residents or confiscated by police, Each year, the department blows up a couple hundred pounds of fireworks, Ring said. Karen Kucher, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Officials remind revelers that setting off your own fireworks is illegal — and can be dangerous," 1 July 2019 Dining out with kids can often blow up your budget, but not with this deal — especially for families with lots of little firecrackers — since up to four kids can eat free with each purchase of an adult entree. Laura Daily And Bryan K. Chavez, The Know, "16 free and cheap things to do around Denver in July," 1 July 2019 The centrist detractors argue that pursuing a Medicare-for-all policy would blow up private health insurance to the detriment of millions of Americans who are satisfied with their current plans. Aamer Madhani, USA TODAY, "5 things we learned from two nights of Democratic debates," 28 June 2019 After posting her first video years ago, Tana's channel has blown up thanks to her storytime videos and hilarious reactions to everything that happens to her. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "6 Crazy Tana Mongeau Facts That’ll Make You Wanna Binge Her Entire YouTube Channel," 25 June 2019 Iran blew up a couple of tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, one of the most important commercial thoroughfares in the world. Nr Editors, National Review, "The Week," 20 June 2019 Dust storms follow unpredictable paths, but tend to blow up and move through a corridor from southern Arizona into northern Maricopa County., "Summer storms are a spectacle, but the dust in them is hazardous to your health," 18 June 2019 The fire starts to blow up, and the afternoon after leaving the area, the smokejumpers helicopter back in. Mark Jenkins, National Geographic, "When wildfires break out, this elite team of ‘smokejumpers’ parachute in," 12 June 2019 Around the same time Birmingham’s beer scene bloomed, Huntsville’s blew up., "24 Hours on the Downtown Huntsville Craft Beer Trail," 26 June 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

5 Jul 2019

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with blowup

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for blowup

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