World English Dictionary
balloon (bəˈluːn)
1.  an inflatable rubber bag of various sizes, shapes, and colours: usually used as a plaything or party decoration
2.  barrage balloon See also hot-air balloon a large impermeable bag inflated with a lighter-than-air gas, designed to rise and float in the atmosphere. It may have a basket or gondola for carrying passengers, etc
3.  a circular or elliptical figure containing the words or thoughts of a character in a cartoon
4.  (Brit)
 a.  a kick or stroke that propels a ball high into the air
 b.  (as modifier): a balloon shot
5.  chem a round-bottomed flask
6.  a large rounded brandy glass
7.  commerce
 a.  a large sum paid as an irregular instalment of a loan repayment
 b.  (as modifier): a balloon loan
8.  surgery
 a.  an inflatable plastic tube used for dilating obstructed blood vessels or parts of the alimentary canal
 b.  (as modifier): balloon angioplasty
9.  informal go down like a lead balloon to be completely unsuccessful or unpopular
10.  informal when the balloon goes up when the trouble or action begins
11.  (intr) to go up or fly in a balloon
12.  (intr) to increase or expand significantly and rapidly: losses ballooned to £278 million
13.  to inflate or be inflated; distend; swell: the wind ballooned the sails
14.  (Brit) (tr) to propel (a ball) high into the air
[C16 (in the sense: ball, ball game): from Italian dialect ballone, from balla, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German ballaball1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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