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Colorful toy balloons.


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 "ball" from Proto-Germanic *ballô ‎(ball), 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.



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balloon ‎(plural balloons)

  1. An inflatable buoyant object, often (but not necessarily) round and flexible.
  2. Such an object as a child’s toy.
  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. 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.


Derived terms[edit]



balloon ‎(third-person singular simple present balloons, present participle ballooning, simple 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.


See also[edit]