blow·​up | \ ˈblō-ˌəp How to pronounce blowup (audio) \
plural blowups

Definition of blowup

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a blowing up: such as
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 Indeed, Trump’s overt threats directed at Amazon have resulted in the blowup of a $10-billion contract for high-tech services that the Pentagon awarded to Microsoft. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Trump again attacks the U.S. Postal Service with lies," 9 Apr. 2020 Set Up’ Dorit Kemsley with PuppyGate The Munchausen feud is far from the first blowup with Rinna at the center, but this season, the star has been on the sideline amid Puppygate involving castmates Dorit Kemsley, Kyle Richards and Lisa Vanderpump. Natalie Stone,, "Lisa Rinna Admits She Almost Quit RHOBH After Munchausen Drama with Yolanda Hadid," 11 July 2019 Plants in and around Detroit have seen emotional blowups on the assembly lines, work stoppages and frazzled management officials trying to stabilize the workforce while awaiting direction from corporate above. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "UAW plant leader's emotional day: Pleas to management and dread from the line," 24 Mar. 2020 His blowup had all his characteristic theatrics of prior such encounters. Dan Mclaughlin, National Review, "What the History of Small-State Presidential Candidates Tells Us about Biden’s Chances," 12 Mar. 2020 But the blowup from this scenario hasn’t happened yet. New York Times, "When an Oil Price War Meets Coronavirus Fears, Markets Get Punched in the Face," 9 Mar. 2020 Brown and Mayock had a blowup after the 31-year-old was fined nearly $54,000 for missing practices during training camp and posted the fine letter on Instagram. Christopher Bumbaca, USA TODAY, "Antonio Brown agent Drew Rosenhaus: '(Brown) wants to have a good relationship' with Raiders," 5 Sep. 2019 There was his blowup on the bench during a loss to the Toronto Raptors on Dec. 31. Scott Cacciola, New York Times, "Stop trying to find a way to FIT-OUT," 16 Jan. 2020 The most interesting moment entailed his blowup in regards to the inquiries about the Knicks trading (Kristaps) Porzingis and if this was a sign KD is going to the Knicks. Heather Tucker, USA TODAY, "USA TODAY's Mark Medina and Jeff Zillgitt on NBA trash talk, bizarre stories, KD," 30 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Both private equity giant KKR & Co. and an Italian hospital operator considered bidding for NMC after the crisis blew up. Nicolas Parasie,, "How a Gulf Hospital Chain Unleashed Scandal in London," 12 May 2020 The Late Show also imagined Trump blowing up the factory. TheWeek, "Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers, Trevor Noah, and Jimmy Kimmel think Trump's 'Live and Let Die' coronavirus field trip was a little 'on the nose'," 7 May 2020 Even before the pandemic had blown up the political calendar, Biden turned the race on its head. Craig Gilbert, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Joe Biden tops Bernie Sanders to capture Wisconsin's Democratic presidential primary," 13 Apr. 2020 Ya girl is out here blowing up feeds with social distancing butt content – a wonderful new genre of photography that has sprung up in the age of COVID-19. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Tana Mongeau Poses in Nothing But a Thong Bikini and Rubber Gloves While Social Distancing," 1 Apr. 2020 In 2003, in Iraq, a bomber posing as a taxi driver blew up his vehicle, killing himself and four American soldiers., "This day in history," 29 Mar. 2020 After Twitter blows up, the tweeting staffer’s bosses whisk him into an office, and the earlier tweets are deleted, replaced by an explanatory thread, with apologies all around. Washington Post, "Alexandra Chang’s ‘Days of Distraction’ experiments with form to reveal the complexities of modern life," 27 Mar. 2020 The tribe Midianites whom Moses meets in the desert are a riot of warm and earth colors by contrast, as if someone bloodlessly blew up a Delhi fabric store and then stitched together the fragments. Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Prince of Egypt': Theater Review," 26 Feb. 2020 It's been nearly 10 years since the Deepwater Horizon rig drilling BP's Macondo well blew up, causing an 87-day uncontrolled release of more than 160 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Author: Tristan Baurick, Anchorage Daily News, "BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill may have been much larger than thought," 13 Feb. 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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Time Traveler for blowup

Time Traveler

The first known use of blowup was in 1536

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Statistics for blowup

Last Updated

25 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Blowup.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for blowup


How to pronounce blow up (audio)

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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with blowup

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