inflate

verb
in·​flate | \ in-ˈflāt How to pronounce inflate (audio) \
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 How to pronounce inflate (audio) \ 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 Medical staff appeared to inflate an air cast as Proctor was carted up the tunnel. Nathan Baird, cleveland, 11 Sep. 2021 Little appears to outwardly bother Moriarty long-term or inflate her ego. Washington Post, 10 Sep. 2021 Maryland State Department of Education is asking the Baltimore City Public Schools system to return funds that were wrongly awarded to a city high school through a scheme to inflate enrollment. Lillian Reed, baltimoresun.com, 3 Sep. 2021 Faculty are concerned they will be pressured to lower standards and inflate grades. Larry Gordon Edsource, Los Angeles Times, 20 Aug. 2021 The aerobot would separate from the orbiter and drop into the Venusian atmosphere, protected from friction and heat by aeroshells, along with parachutes to slow down the craft’s initial descent and inflate its balloons. Chris Wright, Wired, 4 Aug. 2021 McKeon has a good chance to further inflate her medal haul. Paul Newberry, ajc, 31 July 2021 McKeon has a good chance to further inflate her medal haul. Paul Newberry, Star Tribune, 31 July 2021 Lt Wolford and several other officers went there Friday and helped the family inflate the new slide. Michael Hollan, Fox News, 16 July 2021

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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Learn More About inflate

Time Traveler for inflate

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near inflate

inflatable

inflate

inflated

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Statistics for inflate

Last Updated

15 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inflate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/inflate. Accessed 21 Sep. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce inflate (audio) \
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 How to pronounce inflate (audio) \
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 How to pronounce inflate (audio) \ noun

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