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


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

Guests entered through a giant blowup of Stormi's head, a concept taken straight from Astroworld's album cover. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Every Detail You Missed at Kylie Jenner’s Daughter’s Outrageous First Birthday Party," 11 Feb. 2019 The whole situation started strangely, with Riverdale star Vanessa Morgan singing to a blowup doll with a fabulous bob wig in blunt bangs. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "John Legend Went on 'Lip Sync Battle' and Wore a Fabulous Wig," 8 Feb. 2019 Similar rapid blowups in markets have happened in the past when market sentiment is fragile—and at a similar time of day, when liquidity in early Asian trading hours is thin and U.S. markets have recently closed. Mike Bird, WSJ, "Yen Surges After Apple Upsets the Currency Cart," 3 Jan. 2019 This is neither a string of unrelated blowups nor a meltdown in which contagion spreads by panic selling moving from nation to nation. Mike Bird, WSJ, "Emerging-Market Stocks Enter Bear Territory," 6 Sep. 2018 Urged by his board to be more proactive, Mr. Zuckerberg quietly asked her to lead the company’s efforts to identify and prevent future blowups on the platform. Betsy Morris, WSJ, "Sheryl Sandberg’s New Job Is to Fix Facebook’s Reputation—and Her Own," 4 Sep. 2018 The most significant apparent blowup between the two came shortly after Nicki released her latest album, Queen, in August 2018 (more on this in a bit). Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, and the sexist female rapper paradigm behind their feud, explained," 6 Nov. 2018 In a huge social media blowup, Jake kicked Alissa Violet out of the Team 10 house, accusing the YouTuber of cheating on him. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "A Complete Timeline of Jake Paul's Biggest Controversies," 26 Sep. 2018 The problem for these two Wall Street giants wasn’t a hypothetical trading blowup or loan losses, the Fed said, but rather the effect of the 2017 tax overhaul, which created a one-time hit to their capital levels. Lalita Clozel, WSJ, "Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley Dinged in Fed Stress Tests," 28 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Rob Ferrel, aka Rob The Original who’s blowing up the internet right now with his totally unique approach to hair art. Tara Gardner, Allure, "This Selena Fan Shaved Her Portrait Into His Hair, and I Am Both Scared and Impressed," 15 Mar. 2019 The new president’s first political scandal blew up over the weekend after local press accused his party of diverting public campaign funds to candidates who supposedly didn’t run for office. ... Jeffrey T. Lewis, WSJ, "Brazil’s Bolsonaro Fires Key Adviser Amid Accusations of Campaign-Finance Fraud," 18 Feb. 2019 But Roosevelt’s life and career are powerful reminders that the promise of something along the lines of a blustery guy who blows up the system isn’t necessarily a mirage. Vox Staff, Vox, "The most thought-provoking books the Vox staff read in 2018," 21 Dec. 2018 This experience soured the minds of some in Japan even today, where officials say the Japanese population tends to think that the country’s launch industry blows up a lot of rockets. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Quietly, Japan has established itself as a power in the aerospace industry," 15 Nov. 2018 Pokémon fan games that blow up on the internet often promise storylines where protagonists are older, or are in more complicated situations than simply having the desire to catch them all. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "The internet’s horrified with Detective Pikachu," 12 Nov. 2018 In many of the images from the evening, though, Shawn’s metallic silver zipper fly is quite visible, leading fans and haters alike to blow up social media in a discussion about his apparent wardrobe malfunction. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Shawn Mendes May Have Had a Wardrobe Malfunction at the AMAs 2018," 11 Oct. 2018 Three percent was 2 percent lower than the relative humidity on the day Las Conchas blew up. Kyle Dickman, Outside Online, "What If Our Forests Don't Come Back?," 9 May 2018 Just a day after Kanye West blew up the Internet over his bromance with President Trump, the president's re-election campaign started fundraising off their shared respect. Jessica Estepa, USA TODAY, "Trump's 2020 campaign fundraises off Kanye tweets: 'Do not let them silence you'," 26 Apr. 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

1 Mar 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

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).


to boil down or concentrate

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