float a trial balloon(redirected from floats a trial balloon)
float a trial balloon
To propose something in order to get feedback on it. The phrase alludes to the former use of balloons to get information about the weather. When everyone objected to my idea, I reassured them that I was just floating a trial balloon and had not made any sort of decision on the matter.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
float a trial balloonmainly AMERICAN
COMMON If someone floats a trial balloon they suggest an idea or plan in order to see what people think about it. The administration has not officially released any details of the president's economic plan, although numerous trial balloons have been floated. Note: Other verbs can be used instead of float. Weeks ago, the Tories were flying a trial balloon about banning teacher strikes. Note: You can call an idea or suggestion that is made to test public opinion a trial balloon. The idea is nothing more than a trial balloon at this point. Note: Balloons were formerly used to find out about weather conditions.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012