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

In his letter to the judge, obtained by USA TODAY, Macy attempted to explain why Huffman paid to have a proctor correct Sophia's SAT answers, inflating her test scores. Andrea Mandell, USA TODAY, "'The View' slams William H. Macy's support of Felicity Huffman ahead of sentencing," 9 Sep. 2019 Others included fancy five-star hotel stays and inflated mileage reimbursement claims. Clarence Page, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Like the Jussie Smollett case, Aaron Schock’s dropped charges should be investigated," 6 Sep. 2019 Frigate birds soar above us, their balloon-like red gular pouches inflated below their beaks. Mary Holland, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Cruise Ship That Could Preserve the Galapagos Islands," 30 Aug. 2019 Standing 22 feet tall when fully inflated with air pumps, Jeffries’ ballooning piece is the largest artwork he’s ever created. Phillip Valys, sun-sentinel.com, "Giant Inflatable rainbows, yellow submarines, peace signs balloon across South Florida," 30 Aug. 2019 Fully inflated, the LIFE habitat expands to 10,600 cubic ft. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, "Newt Gingrich's Moon Sweepstakes Are a Confounding Development in Today's Space Race," 29 Aug. 2019 Detroit — Toyota is recalling 191,000 cars in North America and Japan because the air bags may not inflate properly in a crash. The recall covers certain 2003 through 2008 Corolla compact sedans and 2005 through 2008 Matrix hatchbacks. CBS News, "Toyota recalling 191,000 cars due to air bag issue," 29 Aug. 2019 According to government data, an average physician working in a state clinic earns about 77,000 rubles (or about $1,200) a month—a figure that experts believe might be inflated. Maria Danilova, Harper's magazine, "Alternative Medicine," 28 Aug. 2019 Eight of the 10 games have seen the favorite spread inflate while just two spreads have moved toward the underdog. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, "Alabama-Duke biggest spread movement in Week 1, while action for Auburn-Oregon ‘balanced’," 27 Aug. 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

11 Oct 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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