balloon vs inflate what difference

what is difference between balloon and inflate



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. The Northern Italian form, balla (ball shaped bundle), today a doublet, likely derived from Old French balle, from Frankish *balla (ball), and may have influenced the spelling of this word. Both Germanic words are from Proto-Germanic *ballô (ball), *balluz, 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”). Doublet of ballon. More at ball.


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /bəˈluːn/
  • (General American) IPA(key): /bəˈlun/
  • Rhymes: -uːn
  • Hyphenation: bal‧loon


balloon (plural balloons)

  1. An inflatable buoyant object, often (but not necessarily) round and flexible.
  2. Such an object as a child’s toy or party decoration.
  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. (obsolete) 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.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:breasts
  13. (slang) A small container for illicit drugs made from a condom or the finger of a latex glove, etc.
    • 2016, David Cornwell, Like it Matters
      And all I had to do in return was take a drive up to Ricardo’s place on the way home and then a pretty edgy one back to Rondebosch with a balloon of coke sandwiched between two pairs of underpants.
  14. (finance) Synonym of balloon payment
    • 1986, James M. Johnson, Fundamentals of finance for equipment lessors
      The purpose of the balloon is to reduce the periodic payment required during the life of the financing period.


  • (inflatable object):
  • (child’s toy): toy balloon
  • (in medicine):
  • (speech bubble): speech bubble, fumetto


  • (transport): hot-air balloon, Montgolfier

Derived terms


  • Assamese: বেলুন (belun)
  • Bengali: বেলুন (belun)
  • Japanese: バルーン (barūn)
  • Maori: parūnu
  • Welsh: balŵn
  • Zulu: ibhaloni



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.
  4. (transitive) To inflate like a balloon.
    • 1944, Emily Carr, The House of All Sorts, “Peach Scanties,” [3]
      A puff of wind from the open door caught and ballooned the scanties; off they sailed, out the window billowing into freedom.
  5. (transitive, sports) To strike (a ball) so that it flies high in the air.
    • 2015, Steve Wilson, A View From The Terraces (part 2, page 138)
      After four minutes, leading goalscorer Haworth slid in but ballooned the ball over from six yards, and Hume then outran the defence to get to the by-line, but he could only hit his cross straight out.


See also

  • airship
  • ball
  • ballonet
  • blimp
  • dirigible
  • gondola
  • zeppelin



From Latin īnflātus, from the verb īnflō.


  • (UK, US) enPR: ĭn-flāt’, IPA(key): /ɪnˈfleɪt/
  • Rhymes: -eɪt


inflate (third-person singular simple present inflates, present participle inflating, simple past and past participle inflated)

  1. (transitive) To enlarge an object by pushing air (or a gas) into it; to raise or expand abnormally
    • 1782, John Scott of Amwell, An Essay on Painting
      When passion’s tumults in the bosom rise, / Inflate the features, and enrage the eyes.
  2. (intransitive) To enlarge by filling with air (or a gas).
  3. (figuratively) To swell; to puff up.
    • Inflate themselves with some insane delight.
  4. (transitive, computing) To decompress (data) that was previously deflated.


  • deflate

Derived terms

  • inflated
  • inflatingly

Related terms

  • inflation





  1. vocative masculine singular of īnflātus


īnflātē (comparative īnflātius, superlative īnflātissimē)

  1. haughtily, proudly, pompously


  • inflate in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • inflate in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • inflate in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition with additions by D. P. Carpenterius, Adelungius and others, edited by Léopold Favre, 1883–1887)
  • inflate in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré Latin-Français, Hachette

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