1570, "a game played with a large, inflated leather ball" (possibly via Middle French ballon) from Italian pallone (“large ball”) from palla (“ball”), from Lombardic *palla. The Northern Italian form, balla (“ball shaped bundle”), today a doublet, likely derived from Old French balle, from Frankish *balla (“ball”), and may have influenced the spelling of this word. Both Germanic words are from Proto-Germanic *ballô (“ball”), *balluz, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰoln- (“bubble”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰel- (“to blow, swell, inflate”). Akin to Old High German ballo, bal (“ball”), (German Ballen (“bale”); Ball "ball"). More at ball.
balloon (plural balloons)
- An inflatable buoyant object, often (but not necessarily) round and flexible.
- Such an object as a child’s toy or party decoration.
- Such an object designed to transport people through the air.
1786, John Jeffries; Jean-Pierre Blanchard, A narrative of the two aerial Voyages of Dr. J. with Mons. Blanchard: with meteorological observations and remarks., page 45: We immediately threw out all the little things we had with us, ſuch as biſcuits, apples, &c. and after that one of our oars or wings; but ſtill deſcending, we caſt away the other wing, and then the governail ; having likewiſe had the precaution, for fear of accidents, while the Balloon was filling, partly to looſen and make it go eaſy, I now ſucceeded in attempting to reach without the Car, and unſcrewing the moulinet, with all its apparatus; I likewiſe caſt that into the ſea.
- (medicine) A sac inserted into part of the body for therapeutic reasons; such as angioplasty.
- A speech bubble.
- A type of glass cup, sometimes used for brandy.
- (architecture) A ball or globe on the top of a pillar, church, etc.
- the balloon of St. Paul's Cathedral in London
- (chemistry) A round vessel, usually with a short neck, to hold or receive whatever is distilled; a glass vessel of a spherical form.
- (pyrotechnics) A bomb or shell.
- (obsolete) A game played with a large inflated ball.
- (engraving) The outline enclosing words represented as coming from the mouth of a pictured figure.
- (slang) A woman's breast.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:breasts
- (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.
- (finance) Synonym of 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.
- (inflatable object):
- (child’s toy): toy balloon
- (in medicine):
- (speech bubble): speech bubble, fumetto
inflatable and buoyant object
- Afrikaans: ballong
- Albanian: balonë (sq)
- Arabic: بَالُون (ar) m (bālōn)
- Egyptian Arabic: بالونة f (ballōna)
- Armenian: փուչիկ (hy) (pʿučʿik)
- Azerbaijani: şar (az), balon
- Basque: puxika
- Bulgarian: бало́н (bg) m (balón)
- Catalan: globus (ca) m, baló m
- Cherokee: ᎠᎵᏌᎳᏗᏍᎩ (alisaladisgi)
- Cantonese: 氣球, 气球 (hei3 kau4)
- Mandarin: 氣球 (zh), 气球 (zh) (qìqiú)
- Czech: balón (cs) m
- Danish: ballon (da)
- Dutch: ballon (nl) m
- Esperanto: balono (eo), ludbaloneto
- Estonian: õhupall (et)
- Finnish: ilmapallo (fi)
- French: ballon (fr) m, ballon de baudruche (fr) m, ballon en baudruche m, ballon gonflable m
- Georgian: ჰაერბურთი (haerburti)
- German: Ballon (de) m, Luftballon (de) m
- Greek: μπαλόνι (el) n (balóni)
- Haitian Creole: boul
- Hausa: balân
- Hebrew: בָּלוֹן (he) m (balon)
- Hindi: गुब्बारा (hi) f (gubbārā)
- Hungarian: léggömb (hu), lufi (hu)
- Icelandic: blaðra f
- Indonesian: balon (id)
- Italian: palloncino (it) m
- Japanese: 風船 (ja) (ふうせん, fūsen), バルーン (ja) (barūn)
- Kannada: ಗಾಳಿಚೆಂಡು (kn) (gāḷiceṇḍu)
- Khmer: ប៉ោង (km) (paong)
- Korean: 기구 (ko) (gigu) (氣球 (ko))
inflatable object to transport people through the air
- Albanian: balonë (sq) f, aerostat (sq) m
- Arabic: مُنْطَاد (ar) m (munṭād)
- Egyptian Arabic: بالون m (ballōn), منطاد m (menṭād)
- Armenian: օդապարիկ (hy) (ōdaparik)
- Belarusian: паве́траны шар m (pavjétrany šar)
- Bengali: বেলুন (belun)
- Bulgarian: бало́н (bg) m (balón), аероста́т m (aerostát)
- Catalan: globus (ca) m
- Cantonese: 氣球, 气球 (hei3 kau4)
- Mandarin: 氣球 (zh), 气球 (zh) (qìqiú), 風船 (zh), 风船 (zh) (fēngchuán)
- Czech: balón (cs) m
- Danish: luftballon
- Dutch: luchtballon (nl) m
- Esperanto: balono (eo)
- Estonian: kuumaõhupall, õhupall (et)
- Finnish: kuumailmapallo (fi), ilmapallo (fi)
- French: montgolfière (fr) f, ballon (fr) m
- Georgian: აეროსტატი (aerosṭaṭi)
- German: Heißluftballon (de) m
- Greek: αερόστατο (el) n (aeróstato)
- Hebrew: כדור פורח (he) m (kadur pore'akh)
medicine: sac inserted into part of the body
architecture: ball or globe on the top of a pillar etc.
chemistry: glass vessel of a spherical form
pyrotechnics: bomb or shell
game played with a large inflated ball
engraving: outline enclosing words
slang: woman’s breast — see boob
balloon (third-person singular simple present balloons, present participle ballooning, simple past and past participle ballooned)
- (intransitive) To increase or expand rapidly.
- His stomach ballooned from eating such a large meal.
- Prices will balloon if we don't act quickly.
2016 May 23, Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, “Apocalypse pits the strengths of the X-Men series against the weaknesses”, in The Onion AV Club:
For the franchise’s ballooning, unmanageable cast of mutants, picking sides now seems to have less to do with choosing between cooperation (which the recent movies implicitly distrust) and resistance, and more with whichever flashback-prone white dude’s overbearing savior complex works for you.
- (intransitive) To go up or voyage in a balloon.
- (transitive) To take up in, or as if in, a balloon.
- (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.
- (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.
To increase or expand rapidly