balloon

noun
bal·​loon | \ bə-ˈlün How to pronounce balloon (audio) \
plural balloons

Definition of balloon

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a nonporous bag of light material that can be inflated especially with air or gas: such as
a : a bag that is filled with heated air or a gas lighter than air so as to rise and float in the atmosphere and that usually carries a suspended load (such as a gondola with passengers)
b : an inflatable bag (as of rubber or plastic) usually used as a toy or for decoration
c medical : a small bag that can be inflated (as in a bodily cavity) with air or gas More than 700,000 Americans undergo procedures in which clogged arteries are cleared out with a balloon and then propped open with a tiny metal scaffold called a stent.— Ron Winslow
2 : the outline enclosing words spoken or thought by a figure especially in a cartoon
go over like a lead balloon (US) or British go down like a lead balloon
informal
: to fail completely to impress or amuse other people Not surprisingly, his overt religiosity has proved a mixed blessing. While probably a winner on the stump, it has gone over like a lead balloon with journalists, liberals, and even many Jewish organizations.— Michelle Cottle But the last time I saw it on stage, in Ned Sherrin's 1996 revival, the dialogue bored me rigid and the whole thing … went down like a lead balloon.— David Nice

balloon

adjective

Definition of balloon (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : relating to, resembling, or suggesting a balloon a balloon sleeve
2 US : having or being a final installment that is much larger than preceding ones in a term or installment note a balloon note a balloon mortgage Got a commercial mortgage coming due? If the loan requires a balloon payment (as many such mortgages do), you may have a hard time refinancing …INC

balloon

verb
ballooned; ballooning; balloons

Definition of balloon (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to swell or puff out : expand ballooned to 200 pounds
2 : to ascend or travel in or as if in a balloon
3 : to increase rapidly ballooning prices

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Examples of balloon in a Sentence

Noun I blew up a balloon but then it burst. brightly colored balloons and other party decorations Verb Their credit card debt ballooned to more than $5,000. the ballooning costs of education
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun After reaching the edge of space — roughly 50 miles above sea level — for long enough to capture images, the balloon popped and allowed the vessel to free fall back to earth. Julia Poe, orlandosentinel.com, "Orlando Pride launch new kit into space," 31 Mar. 2021 Instead, our disputes play out solely within the Washington balloon — with the military itself being accorded a key role. Rich Lowry, National Review, "Repeal the Iraq AUMF," 26 Mar. 2021 The spacious balloon can hold your nearest and dearest with up to 16 friends and family members — and even a solo violinist. BostonGlobe.com, "Solve real-life problems at the Museum of Science, get married in a hot-air balloon, and read about women explorers," 24 Mar. 2021 That money would still be owed, and unless Congress took subsequent action, could stick Americans with an unpleasant balloon payment in the future. Editorial Board Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Taking stock of Trump's executive orders," 11 Aug. 2020 The mortgage holders filed suit in September after Great American Spillproof Products fell behind on lease payments and missed a balloon payment for the total amount due in August 2019. Bill Bowden, Arkansas Online, "Owner of neglected Dogpatch disclosed," 5 Aug. 2020 The Pride plan to use that game ball to kick off the team’s regular season home opener in May. To accomplish the launch, the company attached the jersey and ball to a high-altitude balloon. Julia Poe, orlandosentinel.com, "Orlando Pride launch new kit into space," 31 Mar. 2021 Before the balloon release, the crowd huddled in for prayer, consoling one another, especially Woods, who couldn’t stop crying and screaming out her late daughter’s name. Olivia Mitchell, cleveland, "Family and friends remember 3-year-old girl killed in Garfield Heights apartment fire," 20 Mar. 2021 There have been joint vigils and a balloon release in the two cities to honor James and Nylo together. Dan Sewell, The Enquirer, "James Hutchinson, Nylo Lattimore: Communities reel from stunning child deaths," 15 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Apple's MacBook Pro starts at $1,250 for a base model and can quickly balloon above $3,000 depending on the screen size and features you desire. Kevin Juhasz, chicagotribune.com, "Laptop vs. tablet vs. 2-in-1: Which one is right for you?," 11 Apr. 2021 Experts warn that cases may balloon in the coming weeks, due to a number of large gatherings and congregations in several states. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "India reports new record of 103,558 daily Covid cases, as second wave and new lockdowns hit," 5 Apr. 2021 So far Massachusetts has not seen a similar jump, but whether the plateau here will balloon into a surge remains unclear, experts said. BostonGlobe.com, "‘We’re in a race against time to vaccinate people’: COVID-19 rates are stable in Mass., but stalled progress is a concern, experts say," 18 Mar. 2021 The top official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned COVID-19 cases could balloon if restrictions are not followed, even with a trio of vaccines receiving approval for emergency use. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "CDC director forewarns 'fourth surge' with lax COVID-19 safeguards," 2 Mar. 2021 Previous legislation allowed the cap to increase if enough tax credits were claimed, allowing the credit to balloon indefinitely. Olivia Krauth, The Courier-Journal, "What are education opportunity accounts? Here's what to know about House Bill 563," 9 Mar. 2021 If each of those babies starts having their own offspring within a few months, the number of total rats can balloon; a pair of breeding rats can be responsible for hundreds of baby rats in one year. Amanda Morris, The Arizona Republic, "Birth control for roof rats could slow the spread of destructive pests," 6 Mar. 2021 The seemingly relentless rise of the stock market coincides with central-bank balance sheets that have continued to balloon since the Great Financial Crisis. Douglas Carr, National Review, "The Mother of All Stock-Market Bubbles," 4 Mar. 2021 While other phones continue to balloon in size, the iPhone 12 kept the same 6.1-inch screen size as its predecessor. Michael Andronico, CNN Underscored, "These are the best smartphones of 2020," 31 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'balloon.' 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 balloon

Noun

1783, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1784, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1784, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for balloon

Noun

French ballon large football, balloon, from Italian dialect ballone large football, augmentative of balla ball, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German balla ball — more at ball

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Time Traveler for balloon

Time Traveler

The first known use of balloon was in 1783

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Statistics for balloon

Last Updated

15 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Balloon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/balloon. Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for balloon

balloon

noun

English Language Learners Definition of balloon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a thin usually rubber bag that becomes larger when it is filled with air or gas
: a picture or space in a cartoon that contains words that are spoken or thought by a character

balloon

verb

English Language Learners Definition of balloon (Entry 2 of 2)

: to become bigger quickly

balloon

noun
bal·​loon | \ bə-ˈlün How to pronounce balloon (audio) \

Kids Definition of balloon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a bag that rises and floats above the ground when filled with heated air or with a gas that is lighter than air
2 : a toy or decoration consisting of a rubber bag that can be blown up with air or gas
3 : an outline containing words spoken or thought by a character (as in a cartoon)

balloon

verb
ballooned; ballooning

Kids Definition of balloon (Entry 2 of 2)

: to swell or puff out

balloon

noun
bal·​loon | \ bə-ˈlün How to pronounce balloon (audio) \

Medical Definition of balloon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a nonporous bag of tough light material that can be inflated (as in a bodily cavity) with air or gas gastroesophageal tamponade by introduction of a balloon into the stomach

balloon

transitive verb

Medical Definition of balloon (Entry 2 of 2)

: to inflate or distend like a balloon

intransitive verb

: to swell or puff out

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balloon

adjective
bal·​loon

Legal Definition of balloon

: being or having a final installment that is much larger than preceding ones in an installment or term loan a balloon payment

Note: In contrast to an amortized loan, a balloon loan is generally repaid in periodic payments of interest and a large, lump sum payment of principal at the end of the term.

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Comments on balloon

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