trial balloon


Definition of trial balloon

: a project or scheme tentatively announced in order to test public opinion

Examples of trial balloon in a Sentence

She's been floating trial balloons about a possible run for Congress.
Recent Examples on the Web So, the Lakers floated their three leading candidates for coach to the media this week as a sort of trial balloon. Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times, 21 May 2022 Elizabeth Sepper, a University of Texas law professor who studies health law, said the apparent leak could be posturing by one side or another, tempering expectations or floating a trial balloon. Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY, 3 May 2022 Still, even if it is destined for the dustbin, the measure’s mere existence means it could be used as grist to energize conservatives on the campaign trail — and a trial balloon that sets the stage for more serious discussion next year. al, 11 Mar. 2022 In the media environment of an earlier generation, that sort of sotto-voce remark was a good way to float a trial balloon to insiders. Benjamin Wallace-wells, The New Yorker, 8 Jan. 2022 Having floated a possible export ban on crude oil as a trial balloon last month, the Biden administration earlier this week abandoned the idea, as opposition emerged quickly from Democrats in oil-producing districts. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 19 Dec. 2021 Many historians see the pogroms, which Nazi Germany initiated, as both a trial balloon and opening shot of the genocidal violence of the Holocaust. Cnaan Liphshiz,, 10 Nov. 2021 Republishing his essay on state media can be seen as a trial balloon. Anne Stevenson-yang, Forbes, 1 Sep. 2021 Their proposal last week read less as a change in strategic thinking and more as a trial balloon aimed at the new power brokers in Washington. Brentan Alexander, Forbes, 28 Apr. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'trial balloon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of trial balloon

1935, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for trial balloon

Time Traveler

The first known use of trial balloon was in 1935

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Dictionary Entries Near trial balloon

trial balance

trial balloon

trial brief

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Statistics for trial balloon

Last Updated

4 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Trial balloon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jun. 2022.

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