1570, "a game played with a large, inflated leather ball" (possibly via Middle French ballon) from Italian pallone from palla ("ball"), from lng *palla. Pronunciation
  • (RP) IPA: /bəˈluːn/
  • (GA) IPA: /bəˈlun/

balloon (plural balloons)

  1. An inflatable buoyant object, often (but not necessarily) round and flexible.
  2. Such an object as a child’s toy or party decoration.
  3. Such an object designed to transport people through the air.
  4. (medicine) A sac inserted into part of the body for therapeutic reasons; such as angioplasty.
  5. A speech bubble.
  6. A type of glass cup, sometimes used for brandy.
  7. (architecture) A ball or globe on the top of a pillar, church, etc.
    the balloon of St. Paul's Cathedral in London
  8. (chemistry) A round vessel, usually with a short neck, to hold or receive whatever is distilled; a glass vessel of a spherical form.
  9. (pyrotechnics) A bomb or shell.
  10. (obsolete) A game played with a large inflated ball.
  11. (engraving) The outline enclosing words represented as coming from the mouth of a pictured figure.
  12. (slang) A woman's breast.
    Synonyms: Thesaurus:breasts
  13. (slang) A small container for illicit drugs made from a condom or the finger of a latex glove, etc.
    • 2016, David Cornwell, Like it Matters
      And all I had to do in return was take a drive up to Ricardo's place on the way home and then a pretty edgy one back to Rondebosch with a balloon of coke sandwiched between two pairs of underpants.
  14. (finance) Synonym of balloon payment#English|balloon payment
    • 1986, James M. Johnson, Fundamentals of finance for equipment lessors
      The purpose of the balloon is to reduce the periodic payment required during the life of the financing period.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • German: Ballon
  • Russian: балло́н

balloon (balloons, present participle ballooning; past and past participle ballooned)

  1. (intransitive) To increase or expand rapidly.
    His stomach ballooned from eating such a large meal.
    Prices will balloon if we don't act quickly.
  2. (intransitive) To go up or voyage in a balloon.
  3. (transitive) To take up in, or as if in, a balloon.
  4. (transitive) To inflate like a balloon.
    • 1944, Emily Carr, The House of All Sorts, "Peach Scanties,"
      A puff of wind from the open door caught and ballooned the scanties; off they sailed, out the window billowing into freedom.
  5. (transitive, sports) To strike (a ball) so that it flies high in the air.
    • 2015, Steve Wilson, A View From The Terraces (part 2, page 138)
      After four minutes, leading goalscorer Haworth slid in but ballooned the ball over from six yards, and Hume then outran the defence to get to the by-line, but he could only hit his cross straight out.

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