trial balloon


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trial balloon

a test of someone's or the public's reaction. It was just a trial balloon, and it didn't work. The trial balloon was a great success.
See also: balloon, trial

trial balloon

An idea or plan advanced tentatively to test public reaction, as in Let's send up a trial balloon for this new program before we commit ourselves. This expression alludes to sending up balloons to test weather conditions. [c. 1930]
See also: balloon, trial

trial balloon

n. a test of someone’s reaction. It was just a trial balloon, and it didn’t work.
See also: balloon, trial
References in periodicals archive ?
The idea that the new hours-of-service (HOS) proposal will actually become a regulation is increasingly seen by industry insiders as a long shot given the political backlash the recent trial balloon received.
Although limited to agricultural workers, Senate Bill 180 was viewed as a trial balloon for continued federal action on "card-check" legislation.
After a television rebroadcast of his remarks, a correspondent speculated that this might have been a Pentagon trial balloon.
In February, the Canadian Football League floated a trial balloon about the possibility of selling sponsorship rights to the Grey Cup.
He added the bill "has holes so large, you could drive a hearse through it," while speculating that it is serving as a trial balloon to gauge public opinion on the issue.
They may include commentary by CEOs, views of professionals and other employees, trial balloon ideas, results of research projects, and interpretations of the events and trends in the field.
The Centre for Writing-Intensive Learning (CWIL) at Simon Fraser University (SFU) sent up a trial balloon to gauge interest in such an offering when it launched Writing for Science Publication, the nine-week, six-session workshop, in January.
And, the most lurid of all, declaring a red alert and postponing the election, a possibility already floated as a trial balloon by Tom Ridge.
The House majority's leadership trial balloon floats between the $284 billion House bill and the $318 billion Senate bill: however, analysts point out that the guaranteed portion is only $286 billion, making the bill's price tag essentially the same as the House bill.
Himes says a trial balloon effort with the media started last fall.
Adding to the drop-drip frustration [of military families] was a trial balloon floated this summer by the Pentagon to cut hazardous pay for soldiers in Iraq.
The Imam's Delight, The Secret Glyph, The Trial Balloon.
On March 1, all the Post's readers had the opportunity to learn about the East-West Gateway Coordinating Council's trial balloon to have the next light rail line link Clayton with Overland and the West Port Plaza area.
Many people thought this was one trial balloon that would never get off the ground.