1. 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 aerial navigation.

2. A ball or globe on the top of a pillar, church, etc, as at St. Paul's, in London.

3. <chemistry> A round vessel, usually with a short neck, to hold or receive whatever is distilled; a glass vessel of a spherical form.

4. <chemistry> A bomb or shell.

5. A game played with a large infated ball.

6. The outline inclosing words represented as coming from the mouth of a pictured figure. Air balloon, a balloon for aerial navigation. Balloon frame, a house frame constructed altogether of small timber. Balloon net, a variety of woven lace in which the weft threads are twisted in a peculiar manner around the warp.

Origin: F. Ballon, aug. Of balle ball: cf. It. Ballone. See 1st Ball, and cf. Pallone.

(01 Mar 1998)