Definition of trial balloon in English:

Share this entry

trial balloon

Pronunciation: /ˈtrī(ə)l bəˈlo͞on/

noun

A tentative measure taken or statement made to see how a new policy will be received.
Example sentences
  • In other words, the panel will have some success, for example, in serving as a trial balloon for economic policies and in cultivating a new generation of economic and financial officials.
  • Buried inside the ‘Economic Report of the President’ was a trial balloon for an approach that would fix the problem of the lower manufacturing jobs numbers.
  • From time to time, however, the ‘orthodox school’ of historians and academics, as Windschuttle calls his adversaries, float a trial balloon to test a different approach.

Origin

1930s: a translation of French ballon d'essai.

Share this entry
 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.