trial balloon

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trial balloon

A preliminary or tentative execution of a plan or idea in order to gauge the interest or approval of someone else, especially the public. We introduced the recipe for our soda in certain parts of the country as a trial balloon, but the response was overwhelmingly negative, so we scrapped the planned revision.
See also: balloon, trial

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