Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1500-1600
Language: French
Origin: ballon 'large football, balloon', from Italian ballone 'large football', from balla 'ball'

balloon

1 noun
     
balloon
bal‧loon1 [countable]
1DL an object made of brightly-coloured thin rubber, that is filled with air and used as a toy or decoration for parties:
Can you help me blow up these balloons?
He burst the balloon in my face.
2TTA also hot air balloon a large bag of strong light cloth filled with gas or heated air so that it can float in the air. It has a basket hanging below it for people to stand in.:
a balloon flight over the Yorkshire Moors
3TCN the circle drawn around the words spoken by the characters in a cartoon [= bubble]
4

a balloon payment

American EnglishBFL money borrowed that must be paid back in one large sum after several smaller payments have been made:
a $10,000 balloon payment due in two years
5

the balloon goes up

British English informal used to refer to the moment when a situation starts to become really bad:
We'll have to get out of there before the balloon goes up.

➔ go down like a lead balloon

at lead3 (3)

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