AskDefine | Define ballyhoo

Dictionary Definition

ballyhoo n : blatant or sensational promotion [syn: hoopla, hype, plug] v : advertize noisily or blatantly

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /bæliˈhuː/


  1. Sensational or clamorous advertising or publicity.
  2. Noisy shouting or uproar.
  3. An inshore, surface-dwelling species of needlefish forming sizeable schools. Feeds mainly on sea grasses and small fishes. Mainly used as bait for offshore game fishes such as sailfishes and marlins; utilized as a food fish in the West Indies.


sensational or clamorous advertising or publicity
noise shouting or uproar
species of needlefish


  1. To sensationalise or make grand claims.
    • 1933 — Franklin D. Roosevelt, Fireside Chat (7 May)
      Industry has picked up, railroads are carrying more freight, farm prices are better, but I am not going to indulge in issuing proclamations of over-enthusiastic assurance. We cannot ballyhoo ourselves back to prosperity.


to sensationalise or make grand claims

Related terms

Extensive Definition

The ballyhoo or bally, Hemiramphus brasiliensis, is a baitfish of the halfbeak family (Hemiramphidae). It is similar to the Balao halfbeak (Hemiramphus balao). Ballyhoo are frequently used as cut bait and for trolling purposes by saltwater sportsmen. A big variety of fish love ballyhoo. It is one of the greatest known fish to catch Sailfish on.
Ballyhoo is also used in colloquial American English to refer to brashness or flamboyance. The term Ballyhoo is used to indicate that one is using any means necessary to inflate an object or idea to a status to which it does not rise. This references the bait fish in that selling ballyhoo requires deceitful advertising.
Ballyhoo! is also the name of a Rock Reggae fusion band based in Maryland.


Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

PR, advertise, aggrandize, aggrandizement, amplification, amplify, bark, big talk, bill, blowing up, blurb, boost, bright light, build up, bulletin, burlesque, caricature, carry too far, celebrity, circularize, common knowledge, cry, cry up, currency, daylight, dilatation, dilation, draw the longbow, eclat, enhancement, enlargement, establish, exaggerate, exaggerating, exaggeration, excess, exorbitance, expansion, exposure, extravagance, extreme, fame, famousness, give a write-up, give publicity, glare, go to extremes, grandiloquence, heightening, herald, hoopla, huckstering, hue and cry, hyperbole, hyperbolism, hyperbolize, inflation, inordinacy, lay it on, limelight, magnification, magnify, make much of, maximum dissemination, notoriety, overcharge, overdo, overdraw, overemphasis, overestimate, overestimation, overkill, overpraise, overreach, overreact, oversell, overspeak, overstate, overstatement, overstress, patter, pile it on, pitch, placard, plug, post, post bills, post up, press notice, press-agent, prodigality, profuseness, promote, public eye, public knowledge, public relations, public report, publicity, publicity story, publicize, publicness, puff, puffery, puffing up, reclame, report, sales pitch, sales talk, sell, sensationalism, spiel, spotlight, stretch, stretch the truth, stretching, superlative, talk big, talk in superlatives, tall talk, tout, touting, travesty, trumpet, write up, write-up
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