de·​flate di-ˈflāt How to pronounce deflate (audio) ˌdē- How to pronounce deflate (audio)
deflated; deflating

transitive verb

: to release air or gas from
deflate a tire
: to reduce in size, importance, or effectiveness
deflate his ego with cutting remarks
: to reduce (a price level) or cause (a volume of credit) to contract

intransitive verb

: to lose firmness through or as if through the escape of contained gas
deflator noun
or less commonly deflater
Choose the Right Synonym for deflate

contract, shrink, condense, compress, constrict, deflate mean to decrease in bulk or volume.

contract applies to a drawing together of surfaces or particles or a reduction of area or length.

caused her muscles to contract

shrink implies a contracting or a loss of material and stresses a falling short of original dimensions.

the sweater will shrink when washed

condense implies a reducing of something homogeneous to greater compactness without significant loss of content.

condense the essay into a paragraph

compress implies a pressing into a small compass and definite shape usually against resistance.

compressed cotton into bales

constrict implies a tightening that reduces diameter.

the throat is constricted by a tight collar

deflate implies a contracting by reducing the internal pressure of contained air or gas.

deflate the balloon

Examples of deflate in a Sentence

The birthday balloons deflated after a few days. The harsh criticism left him utterly deflated. an insult that would deflate their egos He has worked to deflate popular myths about investing. Deflated prices mean that farmers are getting less for their products.
Recent Examples on the Web Step 17 Remove from the refrigerator and bake one sheet at a time, 8 to 12 minutes, or until the cookies puff up, then start to deflate and their bottoms begin to turn golden brown. Alana Allred, Washington Post, 4 Dec. 2023 Rex the Dinosaur and Sonic the Hedgehog both hit street lamps, deflating almost immediately. Kate Hogan, Peoplemag, 23 Nov. 2023 This is buoyant, intricate stuff, and trying to muscle through flattens and deflates it. Sara Holdren, Vulture, 17 Nov. 2023 What to Consider The travel pillow doesn't deflate. Dobrina Zhekova, Travel + Leisure, 13 Nov. 2023 They are deflated by the prospect of another roller-coaster Trump presidency, citing the president’s erratic behavior and his many legal entanglements. Hannah Knowles, Washington Post, 12 Nov. 2023 As scientists lower the temperature, the water in the coral’s cells turns to ice, leaving them dehydrated and deflated. WIRED, 11 Nov. 2023 Nissan in February recalled more than 400,000 older SUV, van and pickup models after the automaker became aware of four injuries allegedly related to the Nissan emblem breaking off steering wheels when airbags deflated, according to the Associated Press. Kate Gibson, CBS News, 6 Nov. 2023 Maybe they were deflated with the news that Davis would be unable to play, his hip injury from Monday’s loss giving him enough trouble that the Lakers ruled him out shortly before Wednesday’s game. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, 9 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'deflate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


de- + -flate (as in inflate)

First Known Use

1891, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of deflate was in 1891

Dictionary Entries Near deflate

Cite this Entry

“Deflate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


de·​flate di-ˈflāt How to pronounce deflate (audio) ˈdē- How to pronounce deflate (audio)
deflated; deflating
: to release air or gas from
: to cause to move from a higher to a lower level : reduce from a state of inflation
deflate the national economy
: to become deflated : collapse
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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