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 inflater (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

For context, that’s five times as big as any far-right rally in the last decade, but is still only a tiny fraction of what you’d expect from their (inflated) digital footprint. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Why Facebook banned Alex Jones — and Twitter didn’t," 11 Aug. 2018 Tidal, the subscription music service owned by Jay-Z, has been accused of knowingly inflating numbers for Beyoncé and Kanye West to the tune of millions of streams. Ray Boyd, Philly.com, "Open carry debate in Philly burbs, coming to the rescue for unlucky couples, Southwest pilots recall 'terror' in the sky | Morning Newsletter," 11 May 2018 Employees of a Louisville nonprofit that contracted with the state to provide horse therapy and housing for youth in the juvenile justice system are accused of inflating participation numbers to defraud the government of more than $400,000. Matthew Glowicki, The Courier-Journal, "Nonprofit meant to help troubled youth defrauded government of $400K, prosecutors say," 15 Feb. 2018 In 2011, a Texas court sentenced Crystal Mason to five years in prison for inflating returns on behalf of clients of her tax preparation business. Jay Willis, GQ, "Voter Fraud Is a Racist Lie," 30 Mar. 2018 Long before Cambridge even began working with the Trump campaign, Republican strategists accused the company of inflating its capabilities. Issie Lapowsky, WIRED, "Cambridge Analytica Took 50M Facebook Users' Data—And Both Companies Owe Answers," 17 Mar. 2018 If by chance your life jacket does not inflate, grab your neighbor and hang on for dear life! Peter Funt, WSJ, "Air Passengers Are Laughing in the Aisle Seats," 13 Mar. 2019 That proctor, documents allege, would then illegally help the some of the students inflate their SAT or ACT scores to help achieve admission into top colleges (allegedly supplemented by the parents also submitting a bribe). Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "The College Admissions Scandal Could Have Lasting Impacts for Disabled People," 13 Mar. 2019 The float comes with a powerful electric air pump that inflates the island in less than 10 minutes, according to FUNBOY's website. Alyssa Fiorentino, House Beautiful, "FUNBOY's New Giant Rainbow Cloud Island Seats 6 And Is A Dream Come True," 13 Mar. 2019

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

10 May 2019

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 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 inflation (audio) \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on inflate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with inflate

Spanish Central: Translation of inflate

Nglish: Translation of inflate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inflate for Arabic Speakers

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