- 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
Examples from the Web for balloons
Shortly thereafter, Facebook announced a similar initiative, although their plan calls for the use of drones instead of balloons.Silicon Valley Sets Its Sights on Africa
December 22, 2014
South Korean activists are already planning to loft them over the Demilitarized Zone in balloons.U.S. Should Make North Korea Pay for Sony Hack
Gordon G. Chang
December 18, 2014
As the balloons and electricity scared us, inhibitions were naturally lowered and I saw the flirtation begin.All the Grown-Up Hipsters Playing Kids’ Games
June 29, 2014
I had 17 32,000-watt balloons rigged to 100-foot rain bars, and four cameras in the rain.‘Noah’ is a Global Warming Epic About the Battle Between Religion and Science, Says Cinematographer
March 27, 2014
We want 73 party hats, 400 balloons, a cake for 125 and any of the girls that are available in those costumes you sent up before.Mel Brooks Is Always Funny and Often Wise in This 1975 Playboy Interview
February 16, 2014
The mass of the French people did not regard these balloons with Franklin's serenity.The Age of Invention
The balloons were strained, contorted out of all proportion in their eagerness.Life Sentence
Besides, if there were a roof over it, how could the balloons go up?Rollo in Paris
There were balloons everywhere, as the crowd shoved and pushed into the line of march.Pagan Passions
Gordon Randall Garrett
She had been in balloons, but she had never seen an unrestricted tiger.John Gayther's Garden and the Stories Told Therein
Frank R. Stockton
- 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 and History for balloons
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.
Idioms and Phrases with balloons
In addition to the idiom beginning with balloon
- balloon goes up, the
- go over (like a lead balloon)
- trial balloon