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

The gap between the have and the have-nots has only increased after Amazon settled into part of Seattle, only inflating housing prices and hurting middle class families. Natt Garun, The Verge, "For Queens residents, Amazon’s HQ2 isn’t arriving without a fight," 20 Nov. 2018 Tesla shareholders had already filed a number of lawsuits against Tesla, claiming that false statements by Musk had caused them to pay inflated prices for Tesla shares. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Report: Tesla facing criminal probe over “funding secured” tweet," 18 Sep. 2018 Other campers take the concept even further, spinning to reveal a two-bedroom tiny house; expanding to three times their size; or inflating by itself in seconds. Megan Barber, Curbed, "This $67K camper is also a boat," 5 Sep. 2018 Also on offer will be the Ballancer Pro, an inflating compression full-body pantsuit (practically made for Instagram), which is said to encourage lymphatic drainage, increase circulation, and reduce swelling. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "London’s Favorite Celebrity Facialist Opens a New Skin-Care Studio in Tribeca," 24 Aug. 2018 The Expanding Earth theory, which argues that the reason the continents have spread apart is that the Earth itself has gotten bigger, inflating like a balloon. Meg Neal, Popular Mechanics, "We’ve Been Wrong Before: The Expanding Earth Theory," 3 Aug. 2018 Wolf appointed a retired federal judge last year to investigate whether Labaton and other law firms had inflated their $75 million in fees for the case. Andrea Estes, BostonGlobe.com, "Lawyers ask federal judge to step down from landmark overbilling case," 16 June 2018 Kemp took a pitch off the shoulder blades, George Springer walked and Bregman went deep, giving the Astros a lead Clevinger's bullpen would only inflate. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros' bats bombard Indians in series opener," 24 May 2018 To prep for the festivities, organizers inflate the enormous balloons outside the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan starting at 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving Eve. Olivia Putnal, Woman's Day, "10 Larger-Than-Life Thanksgiving Staples," 16 Nov. 2010

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

6 Dec 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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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

Comments on inflate

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