balloon

[ buh-loon ]
See synonyms for: balloonballooned on Thesaurus.com

noun
  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  1. (in drawings, cartoons, etc.) a balloon-shaped outline enclosing words represented as issuing from the mouth of the speaker.

  2. an ornamental ball at the top of a pillar, pier, or the like.

  3. a large, globular wineglass.

  4. Chemistry Now Rare. a round-bottomed flask.

verb (used without object)
  1. to go up or ride in a balloon.

  2. to swell or puff out like a balloon.

  1. to multiply or increase at a rapid rate: Membership has ballooned beyond all expectations.

verb (used with object)
  1. to fill with air; inflate or distend (something) like a balloon.

adjective
  1. puffed out like a balloon: balloon sleeves.

  2. 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

1
1570–80; <Upper Italian ballone, equivalent to ball(a) (<Langobardic; see ball1) + -one augmentative suffix; or <Middle French ballon<Upper Italian

Other words from balloon

  • bal·loon·like, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use balloon in a sentence

  • It is perhaps somewhat superfluous to say that the Russian Government at once adopted these balloons for war purposes.

    Asbestos | Robert H. Jones
  • At other times, free balloons are liberated, carrying sets of automatic registering instruments.

  • It was small, of twelve thousand cubic feet capacity, as compared with the seventy thousand foot balloons that do the racing.

    In Africa | John T. McCutcheon
  • The principle of the construction of balloons is, therefore, in perfect harmony with physical laws.

    Wonderful Balloon Ascents | Fulgence Marion
  • Buying bread balloons will be the big event of the day for kiddies.

    Bread Overhead | Fritz Reuter Leiber

British Dictionary definitions for balloon

balloon

/ (bəˈluːn) /


noun
  1. an inflatable rubber bag of various sizes, shapes, and colours: usually used as a plaything or party decoration

  2. 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, etc: See also barrage balloon, hot-air balloon

  1. a circular or elliptical figure containing the words or thoughts of a character in a cartoon

  2. British

    • a kick or stroke that propels a ball high into the air

    • (as modifier): a balloon shot

  3. chem a round-bottomed flask

  4. a large rounded brandy glass

  5. commerce

    • a large sum paid as an irregular instalment of a loan repayment

    • (as modifier): a balloon loan

  6. surgery

    • an inflatable plastic tube used for dilating obstructed blood vessels or parts of the alimentary canal

    • (as modifier): balloon angioplasty

  7. go down like a lead balloon informal to be completely unsuccessful or unpopular

  8. when the balloon goes up informal when the trouble or action begins

verb
  1. (intr) to go up or fly in a balloon

  2. (intr) to increase or expand significantly and rapidly: losses ballooned to £278 million

  1. to inflate or be inflated; distend; swell: the wind ballooned the sails

  2. (tr) British to propel (a ball) high into the air

Origin of balloon

1
C16 (in the sense: ball, ball game): from Italian dialect ballone, from balla, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German balla ball 1

Derived forms of balloon

  • ballooning, noun
  • balloonist, noun
  • balloon-like, adjective

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with balloon

balloon

In addition to the idiom beginning with balloon

  • balloon goes up, the

also see:

  • go over (like a lead balloon)
  • trial balloon

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.