[ bloh-uhp ]
See synonyms for blowup on
  1. an explosion.

  2. a violent argument, outburst of temper, or the like, especially one resulting in estrangement.

  1. Also blow-up . an enlargement of a photograph.

Origin of blowup

First recorded in 1800–10; noun use of verb phrase blow up Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use blowup in a sentence

  • Says positively must make trip to Bend & get cigarettes tomorrow or will blow up whole outfit.

    Cabin Fever | B. M. Bower
  • Jose sternly declined, and when Young Glory threatened to blow up the boats, he told him to do so.

  • I grant you he wanted to blow up the 'Ouses of Parliament; but, if there was licensing bills in those days, I don't blame him.

  • The next morning, when they awoke, they found that the wind had altered and was beginning to blow up from the southward.

    The Rival Campers | Ruel Perley Smith
  • What Bushnell did was to invent a boat that would move under water and might be made to blow up an enemy's ship.

British Dictionary definitions for blow up

blow up

  1. to explode or cause to explode

  2. (tr) to increase the importance of (something): they blew the whole affair up

  1. (intr) to come into consideration: we lived well enough before this thing blew up

  2. (intr) to come into existence with sudden force: a storm had blown up

  3. informal to lose one's temper (with a person)

  4. (tr) informal to reprimand (someone)

  5. (tr) informal to enlarge the size or detail of (a photograph)

  1. an explosion

  2. informal an enlarged photograph or part of a photograph

  1. informal a fit of temper or argument

  2. Also called: blowing up informal a reprimand

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 blowup


Explode or cause to explode. For example, The squadron was told to blow up the bridge, or Jim was afraid his experiment would blow up the lab. The term is sometimes amplified, as in blow up in one's face. [Late 1500s]

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