in·​fla·​tion | \ in-ˈflā-shən How to pronounce inflation (audio) \

Definition of inflation

1 : an act of inflating : a state of being inflated: such as
b : a hypothetical extremely brief period of very rapid expansion of the universe immediately following the big bang
c : empty pretentiousness : pomposity
2 : a continuing rise in the general price level usually attributed to an increase in the volume of money and credit relative to available goods and services

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Examples of inflation in a Sentence

the inflation of a balloon The government has been unable to control inflation. The rate of inflation is high.
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Recent Examples on the Web Some of that is because the county’s base property tax levy has failed to keep up with inflation. Alice Yin,, "2021 pandemic budget plan from Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle includes dipping into reserve fund, no tax hikes," 16 Oct. 2020 Two big reasons: (1) the rising cost of college and (2) a minimum wage that has not kept up with college inflation. Rich Exner, cleveland, "Why it’s so difficult ‘to work your way through college’ these days: That’s Rich! recap," 11 Oct. 2020 Endowments typically seek to earn 7% on average a year to account for transfers to pay for university operations, along with inflation. Michael Mcdonald,, "Harvard Endowment Gains 7.3%, Boosts Assets to $41.9 Billion," 29 Sep. 2020 Investors turn to bonds for steady income and capital preservation, as a hedge against volatility in the stock market and to keep pace with inflation. Paul Vigna, WSJ, "Bonds Are Beating Stocks in Topsy-Turvy 2020," 27 Sep. 2020 Among the items on Muller Paz’s platform is a minimum wage of $15 per hour for people working in Baltimore that would automatically rise with inflation and include workers younger than 18. Talia Richman,, "Green Party’s Muller Paz seeks to unseat Democrat Stokes in Baltimore’s only competitive City Council race," 23 Sep. 2020 It’s because our salaries have not kept up with inflation for decades now. A. Ramirez, The New Republic, "I’m Living Under the Weight of Nearly Four Months of Back Rent," 18 Sep. 2020 This year, employees and employers pay Social Security tax on up to $137,700 of salary, a level that increases annually with inflation. Washington Post, "Now is not the time to mess with Social Security," 11 Sep. 2020 Friedrich had been worth about half a million dollars in today’s terms, but with postwar inflation the family was left to scramble. Anne Diebel, The New York Review of Books, "Trumps on the Couch," 8 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inflation.' 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 inflation

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for inflation

Time Traveler

The first known use of inflation was in the 14th century

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Statistics for inflation

Last Updated

22 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Inflation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

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How to pronounce inflation (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of inflation

: an act of inflating something : the state of being inflated
: a continual increase in the price of goods and services


in·​fla·​tion | \ in-ˈflā-shən How to pronounce inflation (audio) \

Kids Definition of inflation

1 : an act of filling with air or gas : the state of being filled with air or gas inflation of a balloon
2 : a continual rise in the price of goods and services

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