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Meaning of balloon

bal•loon

Pronunciation: (bu-ln'), [key]
— n.
  1. a bag made of thin rubber or other light material, usually brightly colored, inflated with air or with some lighter-than-air gas and used as a children's plaything or as a decoration.
  2. a bag made of a light material, as silk or plastic, filled with heated air or a gas lighter than air, designed to rise and float in the atmosphere and often having a car or gondola attached below for carrying passengers or scientific instruments.
  3. (in drawings, cartoons, etc.) a balloon-shaped outline enclosing words represented as issuing from the mouth of the speaker.
  4. an ornamental ball at the top of a pillar, pier, or the like.
  5. a large, globular wineglass.
  6. a round-bottomed flask.
—v.i.
  1. to go up or ride in a balloon.
  2. to swell or puff out like a balloon.
  3. to multiply or increase at a rapid rate: Membership has ballooned beyond all expectations.
—v.t.
  1. to fill with air; inflate or distend (something) like a balloon.
—adj.
  1. puffed out like a balloon: balloon sleeves.
  2. (of a loan, mortgage, or the like) having a payment at the end of the term that is much bigger than previous ones.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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