Meaning of BALLOON in English


I. bəˈlün noun

( -s )

Etymology: Italian dialect ballone (Italian pallone ), aug. of Italian dialect balla, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German balla ball — more at ball



(1) : a large inflated leather ball used in a now obsolete sport that involved striking and kicking the ball back and forth

(2) : the game formerly played with such a ball


(1) : a bag of silk or other tough light material shaped usually like a sphere, made nonporous, and filled with heated air or a gas lighter than air : an aerostat without a propelling system — see free balloon , kite balloon , pilot balloon , sounding balloon

(2) : a small-necked inflatable bag of thin usually gaily colored rubber used as a toy

held a bright red balloon

2. : something resembling a balloon in contour, buoyancy, inflation, or insubstantiality: as

a. obsolete : a fireworks shell

b. : ball I 1j

c. : a spherical glass vessel usually with a short neck (as a receiver) or with a stopcock for use in weighing gases

d. : an area (as of a cartoon) in which presumed spoken words are printed or thoughts represented typically having a rounded outline and being connected with the speaker's or thinker's mouth by a single line

e. : balloon tire


(1) : the ball-shaped mass of yarn strands produced in the mechanical spinning, twisting, or winding of thread as the strands pass between a guide and the revolving spool on which they are wound

(2) : a revolving cylindrical reel used in woolen warp drying

g. or balloon glass : snifter


a. : outward appearance : show , display

punctured their balloon of confidence — Speed Lamkin

b. : a poorly substantiated or shallow attitude, belief, or assumption

dogmatists who take delight in shooting balloons and asking a man for proofs — Van Wyck Brooks

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

transitive verb

1. : to cause to assume a smooth rounded form by or as if by inflation : distend

a sudden breeze ballooning the spinnaker

he ballooned his cheeks in imitation of a fat lady

2. : to increase or augment usually beyond what is average, normal, or expected

a lusty increase in European consumption helped balloon prices — Wall Street Journal

intransitive verb


a. : to ascend or travel in a balloon

in 1935 he had ballooned to a world's altitude record — Time

b. : to rise abruptly and become fully airborne in an airplane after the initial landing impact

c. of a young spider : to travel through the air supported by a strand of silk that catches the wind


a. : to swell out into a smoothly rounded surface : belly out

the curtains ballooning in the morning breeze

b. : to issue or burst forth in or as if in rounded distended form

the fat mushroom of smoke that ballooned out of the mouth of the English chase guns — Frank Yerby

magniloquent phrases balloon from his lips — Neville Cardus

3. : to increase rapidly

clerical costs ballooned … in every department of business — Newsweek

: grow suddenly and beyond average proportion or normal expectation

the church's enrollment has ballooned 130% — Time

— sometimes used with out or up

houses in fashionable architectural styles ballooned up and expired in endless succession — T.H.Robsjohn-Gibbings

the young republic ballooned out to its present proportions in a few decades

III. adjective

1. : of, relating to, resembling, or suggesting a balloon especially in contour or silhouette

a balloon sleeve

a balloon figure

a balloon sail

2. of cargo : consisting of light bulky goods

3. : having a final installment that is much larger than preceding ones in a term or installment loan

a balloon note

a balloon payment mortgage

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.