in·​let | \ ˈin-ˌlet How to pronounce inlet (audio) , -lət\

Definition of inlet

1a : a bay or recess in the shore of a sea, lake, or river also : creek
b : a narrow water passage between peninsulas or through a barrier island leading to a bay or lagoon
2 : a way of entering especially : an opening for intake

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Synonyms for inlet


arm, bay, bight, cove, creek [chiefly British], embayment, estuary, firth, fjord (also fiord), gulf, loch [Scottish]

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Examples of inlet in a Sentence

The coast is dotted with tiny inlets. went fishing in the quiet inlets of the coast

Recent Examples on the Web

Researchers noted a high degree of deterioration in a wall close to the exterior condenser unit, which feeds two AC inlets in the church — in the central chamber, known as the nave, and near the organ on the second floor. Scott Huddleston,, "UTSA study will help cool, preserve one of San Antonio’s historic mission churches," 4 July 2019 Work on the inlet began in 2017 but was halted that year by a federal judge. Forum News Service, Twin Cities, "Fargo-Moorhead flood-control project hits another obstacle as local permit is denied," 25 June 2019 Rhodes wrote alongside the incredible shot of a deer paddling away with the old and new inlet bridges in the background. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Boaters Shocked to Find Deer Swimming Across Dangerous Outer Banks Inlet," 10 June 2019 On the Outer Banks, new inlets could form while others are widened and deepened. Ben Finley, Fox News, "AP Explains: Why North Carolina is vulnerable to hurricanes," 12 Sep. 2018 And in the Outer Banks, there are only three inlets, creating a bottleneck effect holding water upstream for an extended period of time. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Hurricane Florence could bring life-threatening floods, conditions to areas away from coastline as well," 13 Sep. 2018 Sand along that section of coastline naturally migrates from north to south, which explains why the beach is at its widest near the jetty on the north side of the Ocean City inlet. Scott Dance, Washington Post, "A wider, deeper beach awaits Ocean City vacationers, but is it safe?," 1 June 2018 In North Carolina particularly, the barrier islands of the Outer Banks only leave a few inlets for water to be let out once the heavy rainfall and storm surges push water inland – further intensifying the impact of flooding in the area, Cline said. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Hurricane Florence could bring catastrophic storm surges: What are they, and how can you prepare?," 13 Sep. 2018 The winds of a hurricane literally blow water onshore, making beaches, inlets, and rivers crest much higher than usual. Brian Resnick, Vox, "Hurricane Florence catastrophic flooding, rescues, and deaths: what we know," 14 Sep. 2018

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

circa 1576, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for inlet

from its letting water in

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Statistics for inlet

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for inlet

The first known use of inlet was circa 1576

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English Language Learners Definition of inlet

: a narrow area of water that goes into the land from a sea or lake
: an opening through which air, gas, or liquid can enter something (such as a machine)


in·​let | \ ˈin-ˌlet How to pronounce inlet (audio) \

Kids Definition of inlet

1 : a small or narrow bay
2 : an opening through which air, gas, or liquid can enter something


in·​let | \ ˈin-ˌlet, -lət How to pronounce inlet (audio) \

Medical Definition of inlet

: the upper opening of a bodily cavity especially : that of the cavity of the true pelvis bounded by the pelvic brim

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More from Merriam-Webster on inlet

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with inlet

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inlet

Spanish Central: Translation of inlet

Nglish: Translation of inlet for Spanish Speakers

Comments on inlet

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