- a bag made of thin rubber or other light material, usually brightly colored, inflated with air or with some lighter-than-air gas and used as a children's plaything or as a decoration.
- a bag made of a light material, as silk or plastic, filled with heated air or a gas lighter than air, designed to rise and float in the atmosphere and often having a car or gondola attached below for carrying passengers or scientific instruments.
- (in drawings, cartoons, etc.) a balloon-shaped outline enclosing words represented as issuing from the mouth of the speaker.
- an ornamental ball at the top of a pillar, pier, or the like.
- a large, globular wineglass.
- Chemistry Now Rare. a round-bottomed flask.
- to go up or ride in a balloon.
- to swell or puff out like a balloon.
- to multiply or increase at a rapid rate: Membership has ballooned beyond all expectations.
- to fill with air; inflate or distend (something) like a balloon.
- puffed out like a balloon: balloon sleeves.
- Finance. (of a loan, mortgage, or the like) having a payment at the end of the term that is much bigger than previous ones.
Origin of balloon
Related Words for balloonblimp, swell, inflate, enlarge, expand, dirigible, bladder, airship, zeppelin, distend, bulge, belly, dilate
Examples from the Web for balloon
Contemporary Examples of balloon
Manned, unmanned, a balloon, a kite—you still have to get the information into the hands of the firefighters.Fighting Wildfire With Satellites, Lasers, and Drones
July 9, 2014
A balloon popped and the sound was enough like a gunshot to make everybody jump.What if the Founding Fathers Saw Newtown?
December 13, 2013
But soon before he could get to work, he lost control of the balloon he had designed and built himself.This Week’s Hot Reads: Dec. 2, 2013
Mythili Rao and Thomas Flynn, Mythili Rao, Thomas Flynn
December 2, 2013
Taking your cues from Koons is like singing inside a balloon.From Lady Gaga To Jay-Z, “Serious” Art Is Ruining Pop Music
November 24, 2013
Eyebrows Cressida: Imagine eyebrows drawn on a balloon with a blackened cork.
Historical Examples of balloon
We are always, metaphorically, going up or coming down in a balloon.
The first balloon ascent was made from this little town in 1783.
Our journey must now be compared to the descent from cloud-land in a balloon.
We was used to the balloon now and not afraid any more, and didn't want to be anywheres else.
Well, up in a balloon there ain't any of that, and it's the darlingest place there is.
- an inflatable rubber bag of various sizes, shapes, and colours: usually used as a plaything or party decoration
- a large impermeable bag inflated with a lighter-than-air gas, designed to rise and float in the atmosphere. It may have a basket or gondola for carrying passengers, etcSee also barrage balloon, hot-air balloon
- a circular or elliptical figure containing the words or thoughts of a character in a cartoon
- a kick or stroke that propels a ball high into the air
- (as modifier)a balloon shot
- chem a round-bottomed flask
- a large rounded brandy glass
- a large sum paid as an irregular instalment of a loan repayment
- (as modifier)a balloon loan
- an inflatable plastic tube used for dilating obstructed blood vessels or parts of the alimentary canal
- (as modifier)balloon angioplasty
- go down like a lead balloon informal to be completely unsuccessful or unpopular
- when the balloon goes up informal when the trouble or action begins
- (intr) to go up or fly in a balloon
- (intr) to increase or expand significantly and rapidlylosses ballooned to £278 million
- to inflate or be inflated; distend; swellthe wind ballooned the sails
- (tr) British to propel (a ball) high into the air
Word Origin for balloon
1570s, "a game played with a large inflated leather ball," from Italian pallone "large ball," from palla "ball," from a Germanic source akin to Langobardic palla (from Proto-Germanic *ball-, from PIE *bhel- (2) "to blow, swell;" see bole) + -one, suffix indicating great size.
Perhaps also borrowed in part from French ballon (16c.), altered (after balle) from Italian pallone. It also meant the ball itself (1590s), which was batted back and forth by means of large wooden paddles strapped to the forearms. In 17c., it also meant "a type of fireworks housed in a pasteboard ball" (1630s) and "round ball used as an architectural ornament" (1650s). Acquired modern meaning after Montgolfier brothers' flights, 1783. As a child's toy, it is attested from 1848; as "outline containing words in a comic engraving" it dates from 1844. Also cf. -oon.
"to go up in a balloon," 1792; "to swell, puff up," 1841, from balloon (n.). Related: Ballooned; ballooning.
- An inflatable spherical device that is inserted into a body cavity or structure and distended with air or gas for therapeutic purposes.
In addition to the idiom beginning with balloon
- balloon goes up, the
- go over (like a lead balloon)
- trial balloon