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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The cord pulls out a deployment bag, allowing the parachute inside to inflate automatically. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "How To Go Skydiving for the First Time," 5 Mar. 2019 There are bona-fide villains in the piece, notably the people who exploited John Bobbitt, or harassed Lorena, or used the case to inflate their own media profiles—people like Howard Stern, Geraldo Rivera, Alan Dershowitz and Jenny Jones. John Anderson, WSJ, "‘Lorena’ Review: Cutting to the Heart of the Matter," 14 Feb. 2019 Of course, keep in mind that the float will take extra time to inflate due to its large size. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "The 6-Person Swan and Flamingo Pool Floats Are Back, So Start Making Your Summer Plans Now," 11 Feb. 2019 The attorneys, who could not be reached for comment Thursday, said estimates about the number of plastic drinking straws Americans use each day appear to be inflated. Lorraine Mirabella, baltimoresun.com, "More eateries, businesses do away with plastic straws," 13 July 2018 But the locked accounts were nevertheless allowed to inflate the follower counts of a large swath of users. BostonGlobe.com, "Battling fake accounts, Twitter to slash millions of followers," 11 July 2018 But the locked accounts were nevertheless allowed to inflate the follower counts of a large swath of users. Nicholas Confessore, New York Times, "Battling Fake Accounts, Twitter to Slash Millions of Followers," 11 July 2018 After the reality star's lips appeared to inflate overnight in 2014, the world has been obsessed with trying to replicate her exaggerated look with every chance, treatment, and product possible. Lisa Desantis, Health.com, "Kylie Jenner Looks Totally Different After Having Her Lip Filler Removed," 9 July 2018 Both use the explosive chemical ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to inflate the bags in a crash, and both can blow apart metal canisters that hold the chemical. Tom Krisher, The Seattle Times, "Driver hurt by air bag shrapnel as investigation drags on," 20 Feb. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about inflate

Statistics for inflate

Last Updated

15 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for inflate

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up inflate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!