inflate

verb
in·flate | \in-ˈflāt \
inflated; inflating

Definition of inflate 

transitive verb

1 : to swell or distend with air or gas

2 : to puff up : elate inflate one's ego

3 : to expand or increase abnormally or imprudently

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Other Words from inflate

inflator or inflater \in-ˈflā-tər \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for inflate

expand, amplify, swell, distend, inflate, dilate mean to increase in size or volume. expand may apply regardless of the manner of increase (such as growth, unfolding, addition of parts). a business that expands every year amplify implies the extension or enlargement of something inadequate. amplify the statement with details swell implies gradual expansion beyond a thing's original or normal limits. the bureaucracy swelled to unmanageable proportions distend implies outward extension caused by pressure from within. a distended abdomen inflate implies expanding by introduction of air or something insubstantial and suggests a vulnerability to sudden collapse. an inflated ego dilate applies especially to expansion of circumference. dilated pupils

Examples of inflate in a Sentence

We used a pump to inflate the raft. Economists warn that rapid economic growth could inflate prices. Increased competition has inflated salaries among professional athletes. Rapid economic growth may cause prices to inflate.
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Recent Examples on the Web

This is part of a larger trend: Media companies everywhere are focusing more on engagement and loyalty and less on inflating user numbers. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Is Twitter Good Now?," 13 July 2018 Beer makers are frustrated over the way prices are set in the American aluminum market and say those who produce and trade the metal are using President Trump’s tariffs as cover for artificially inflating its cost. Matt Phillips, New York Times, "As Trade Fight Escalates, Beer Makers Fret Over the Cost of Aluminum," 18 June 2018 The company restated its 2016 and first quarter 2017 financial results today, two weeks after a former company official pleaded guilty to wire fraud for intentionally inflating sales numbers. Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio’s Globalscape restates financial results amid criminal probe," 14 June 2018 The campaign heated up this week as Mosby and Vignarajah criticized Bates for inflating his success as a city homicide prosecutor nearly two decades ago. Tim Prudente, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore state's attorney candidates to debate Wednesday morning on radio," 13 June 2018 Then, the school erupted in scandal after the state accused its leaders of intentionally inflating records about how much time ECOT students spent learning. Hannah Sparling, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati schools sent $15M to now-defunct charter," 7 June 2018 David Drumm, the former boss of Anglo Irish Bank, was found guilty of dishonestly inflating the size of the bank’s deposits before its collapse and subsequent bail-out during the financial crisis. The Economist, "Business this week," 7 June 2018 The former tax preparer was on probation after pleading guilty to inflating her clients' returns in 2012. CBS News, "Texas woman sentenced five years in prison for voting while on probation," 15 June 2018 Steinkamp’s radiant large-scale projections, which heighten and inflate natural imagery, question technology’s impact on perceptions of nature. BostonGlobe.com, "The week ahead: music, theater, art, and more," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inflate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of inflate

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for inflate

Middle English, from Latin inflatus, past participle of inflare, from in- + flare to blow — more at blow

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Statistics for inflate

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for inflate

The first known use of inflate was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for inflate

inflate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of inflate

: to add air or gas to (something, such as a tire or a balloon) and make it larger

: to become larger by being filled with air or gas

: to think or say that (something) is larger or more important than it really is

inflate

verb
in·flate | \in-ˈflāt \
inflated; inflating

Kids Definition of inflate

1 : to swell or fill with air or gas inflate a balloon

2 : to cause to increase beyond proper limits Prices have been inflated.

inflate

verb
in·flate | \in-ˈflāt \
inflated; inflating

Medical Definition of inflate 

transitive verb

: to swell or distend with air or gas inflate the lungs

Other Words from inflate

inflation \in-ˈflā-shən \ noun

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Comments on inflate

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a state of commotion or excitement

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