• "He steered his balloon round the Eiffel Tower."
    "He steered his balloon round the Eiffel Tower."
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v balloon become inflated "The sails ballooned"
    • v balloon ride in a hot-air balloon "He tried to balloon around the earth but storms forced him to land in China"
    • n balloon large tough nonrigid bag filled with gas or heated air
    • n balloon small thin inflatable rubber bag with narrow neck
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Hot-air Balloon Hot-air Balloon
Man and two children watching balloon Man and two children watching balloon

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In 1783, the hot air balloon was invented in France.
    • Balloon A bag made of silk or other light material, and filled with hydrogen gas or heated air, so as to rise and float in the atmosphere; especially, one with a car attached for aërial navigation.
    • Balloon (Arch) A ball or globe on the top of a pillar, church, etc., as at St. Paul's, in London.
    • Balloon (Pyrotechnics) A bomb or shell.
    • Balloon A game played with a large inflated ball.
    • Balloon (Chem) A round vessel, usually with a short neck, to hold or receive whatever is distilled; a glass vessel of a spherical form.
    • Balloon (Engraving) The outline inclosing words represented as coming from the mouth of a pictured figure.
    • Balloon To expand, or puff out, like a balloon.
    • Balloon To go up or voyage in a balloon.
    • v. t Balloon To take up in, or as if in, a balloon.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Felix the Cat is the first cartoon character to ever have been made into a balloon for a parade.
    • n balloon A large inflated ball of leather, used in playing certain games; a game played with such a ball. It was tossed to and fro by either hand or foot, the hand being defended by a guard (balloon-brasser). See foot-ball.
    • n balloon In chem., a round vessel with a short neck, used as a receiver in distillation; a glass receiver of a spherical form.
    • n balloon In architecture, a ball or globe on the top of a pillar.
    • n balloon In pyrotechnics, a ball of pasteboard or a kind of bomb stuffed with combustibles, which, bursting like a bomb, exhibits sparks of fire like stars.
    • n balloon In weaving, a cylindrical reel on which sized woolen yarn for warp is wound in order to be dried by rapid revolution in a heated chamber.
    • n balloon A bag or hollow vessel filled with hydrogen gas or heated air, or any other gaseous fluid lighter than common air, and thus caused to rise and float in the atmosphere. It is made of silk or other light material, varnished with caoutchouc dissolved in turpentine. A network of twine envelops the balloon, and is tied to a circular hoop a little below it, from which a car, usually consisting of a large wicker basket, is suspended. A valve in the bottom of the balloon can be opened and closed at pleasure by means of a string, and the basket is furnished with sand-bags as ballast. If the aëronaut wishes to ascend, he throws out some of the ballast; if to descend, he opens the valve. Balloons have been successfully used for military purposes (see captive, balloon, below), and, in the case of besieged cities, as a medium of communication with the outside world.
    • n balloon In comic engravings, a figure shaped like a balloon and inclosing words which are represented as issuing from the mouth of a speaker.
    • n balloon A state barge of Siam, made in fanciful imitation of a sea-monster, and having 70 to 100 oars on a side.
    • n balloon In cricket and base-ball, a lofty hit which gives a fielder the chance to catch a batsman out.
    • n balloon In spinning, the convex curve assumed by yarn on a ring-frame.
    • balloon To carry up or transport in, or as in, a balloon.
    • balloon To distend with air, gas, or water, as the abdomen in tympanites, or the rectum or vagina with specially constructed apparatus.
    • balloon To make ascents in a balloon.
    • balloon To swell out like a balloon; in ring-spinning, to fly outward centrifugally from the spindle: said of yarn.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: If you put a piece of scotch tape on an inflated balloon, then stick it with a small pin or needle, it won't pop.
    • n Balloon bal-lōōn′ an inflated air-tight envelope of paper or silk, constructed to float in the air and carry a considerable weight when filled with heated air or light gas: anything inflated, empty:
    • v.i Balloon to ascend in a balloon: to puff out like a balloon
    • n Balloon bal-lōōn′ (obs.) a game played with a large inflated ball
    • ***


  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “Self-love is a balloon filled with wind, from which storms burst forth when one makes a puncture in it.”
  • Henry Ward Beecher
    “God made man to go by motives, and he will not go without them, any more than a boat without steam or a balloon without gas.”


Balloon goes up - When the balloon goes up, a situation turns unpleasant or serious.
Go down like a lead balloon - (UK) If something goes down like a lead balloon, it fails or is extremely badly received.
Go over like a lead balloon - (USA) If something goes over like a lead balloon, it will not work well, or go over well.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. ballon, aug. of balle, ball: cf. It. ballone,. See 1st Ball (n.), and cf. Pallone
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
It. ballone, augmentative of balla, ball.


In literature:

"Intestinal Ills" by Alcinous Burton Jamison
They had reached the point by balloon.
"Panther Eye" by Roy J. Snell
Other equally beautiful forms of jelly-fish are balloon-shaped.
"The Log of the Sun" by William Beebe
Small blue crosses represent the position of enemy balloon barrages and their height.
"Night Bombing with the Bedouins" by Robert Henry Reece
Now a bubble ascends; it moves with the rapidity of a balloon.
"Conversations on Chemistry, V. 1-2" by Jane Marcet
That is, each and every one of the six girls had six fine long braids of yellow hair and each braid of hair had a balloon tied on the end.
"Rootabaga Stories" by Carl Sandburg
A few captive balloons were being used for observation purposes by both sides.
"The Chronicles of a Gay Gordon" by José Maria Gordon
But the gas balloon suited the smug character of the German.
"The Sequel" by George A. Taylor
His first balloon ascent had been made during the American Civil War, in one of the military balloons of the Federal army.
"The War in the Air; Vol. 1" by Walter Raleigh
Do you remember the military-balloon scandal?
"The Maids of Paradise" by Robert W. (Robert William) Chambers

In poetry:

Here's yer toy balloons! All sizes!
Twenty cents for that. It rises
Jest as quick as that 'ere, Miss,
Twice as big. Ye see it is
Some more fancy. Make it square
Fifty for 'em both. That's fair.
"Alnaschar" by Francis Bret Harte
Auld Scotlan' gangs yirmin an' chanerin' alane;
She wunners whaur a' her trig lassocks ha'e gane;
She's trampit the kintra, an' socht thro' the toons,
An' fan' the fule hizzies—blawn oot like balloons!
"Crinoline" by Janet Hamilton
If this project should fail, he has others in store;
Wooden horses, for instance, may bring them safe o'er;
Or the genius of France (as the Moniteur tells)
May order balloons, or provide diving-bells.
Derry down.
"The Wonderful Juggler" by Henry Kirke White
My heart tore free from the earth and flew,
Flew up like a drunken balloon into an ocean of blue wind,
To the mast of some distant constellation, scattering stars as it flapped
away like some mischievous vulture.
"Windy Night (Haoyar Rat)" by Jibanananda Das
A child saw in the morning skies
The dissipated-looking moon,
And opened wide her big blue eyes,
And cried: "Look, look, my lost balloon!"
And clapped her rosy hands with glee:
"Quick, mother! Bring it back to me."
"Moon Song" by Robert W Service
And the white-haired jeweler from Denmark is carving
A perfectly faceted wife to wait
On him hand and foot, quiet as a diamond.
Moony balloons, tied by a string
To their owner' wrists, the light dreams float
To be let loose at news of land.
"On Deck" by Sylvia Plath

In news:

Saturday afternoon hot-air balloon launch.
Elvis among new shapes at annual NM hot-air balloon festival.
"Hot Air Balloon from Oz" is the theme of this year's cornfield maze at the Pumpkin Patch at US Highway 101 and Kitchen-Dick Road in Sequim.
SEQUIM — The design of a hot-air balloon is carved into the corn maze of the Sequim Pumpkin Patch along US Highway 101 at Kitchen-Dick Road.
Hopkins County Hot-Air Balloon Rally.
Riding a Hot-Air Balloon .
Autistic teenager Sam Kelly works with, then flies in a hot-air balloon .
Being autistic can mean sensory overload, but Sam Kelly overcomes the noise and other distractions to enjoy a ride aloft in a hot-air balloon .
PHILADELPHIA — On Sunday, Kenzie Houk 's family and friends gathered at her grave at Parkside Cemetery in Shenango Township for an annual birthday party and balloon launch in her memory.
How to Make a Balloon-Powered Hovercraft .
HRT hid ballooning cost of Norfolk light rail.
Hampton Roads Transit intentionally hid the ballooning costs of the.
You could call it an inflatable balloon or an inflatable heat shield.
This can let the air out Ike 's balloon and keep it on the weak side.
FDA Clears Omnilink Elite Vascular Balloon-Expandable Stent for Iliac Artery Lesions.

In science:

Recent results from the submm balloon experiment PRONAOS (Dupac et al. 2001) find tentative evidence for an inverse dependence of β on T but the result is largely based on one cloud (OMC-1) having a lower β and higher temperature than the others.
The SCUBA Local Universe Galaxy Survey II. 450 micron data - evidence for cold dust in bright IRAS Galaxies
Archeops is a balloon experiment to observe CMB fluctuations with an angular resolution around 10’.
Some sources of systematic errors on CMB polarized measurements with bolometers
A rotating polarizing device in front of one bolometer in one feed and read by one electronic chain may provide a solution to these difficulties, but one has to check that it does not bring new systematics and it may be difficult to implement on satellite or balloon borne experiments.
Some sources of systematic errors on CMB polarized measurements with bolometers
This material has been successfully used previously in the CAPRICE balloon experiment .
Experimental study of a proximity focusing Cherenkov counter prototype for the AMS experiment
Here we summarize some of the results on pre- flight calibration, event reconstruction technique s, and performance during a 27 hour balloon flight on October 4 – 5 .
The LXeGRIT Compton Telescope Prototype: Current Status and Future Prospects