American Idioms – Idiom Wizard Lists Over 5,500 Idioms & Slang Descriptions

Trial balloon


A test to gauge public response. Beta test, such the public’s opinion of a product. A trial balloon attempts to test response to a new product or idea and if it is disliked, it will be shelved. (Compare to Take out for a test drive or Smell test.)

“The president’s office suggested a new tax policy but it was simply a trial balloon to gauge public reaction.”

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