in·​let | \ˈin-ˌlet, -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

People have also asked why flights can't take-off from the inlet side. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "For some in Anchorage, it’s been the summer of airplane noise. But just wait until next year.," 10 July 2018 The village will likely install additional sewer inlets on Brett Lane in 2019 that will help with drainage issues, Brady said. Alexandra Kukulka,, "Glenview board approves 8-classroom addition to Winkelman School," 3 July 2018 Along the rocky inlets and foggy harbors of Maine, the Coast Guard maintains about 100 large buoys that use heavy brass gongs and bells to help guide mariners to port in the worst weather. David Abel,, "Someone is stealing bells and gongs from buoys in Maine," 25 June 2018 There will be storm sewer channels that include curb inlets on both sides of the roadway; a ditch system where necessary; three outfalls and two detention basins. Melanie Feuk, Houston Chronicle, "$100 million FM 1960 widening projects includes 3 overpasses in Atascocita," 21 June 2018 It is powered by GE Honda HF120 engines, and includes noise-reducing engine inlets. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "Honda's New Business Jet Has Longer Range—and a Toilet Seatbelt," 30 May 2018 The car pulls intake air from three sources, including a new dual-snorkel hood and driver-side air catcher headlamp and inlet near the wheel liner, the release said. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, "Dodge unveils 797-horsepower, 200 mph Hellcat Redeye," 28 June 2018 This six-bedroom home is on the inlet and just one block from the beach. Shannon Rooney,, "Shore Envy: Three Belmar stunners," 27 June 2018 Over the past few years China has been rapidly transforming various reefs and inlets into artificial islands to install military infrastructure. Bethlehem Feleke, CNN, "China tests bombers on South China Sea island," 20 May 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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Time Traveler for inlet

The first known use of inlet was circa 1576

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More Definitions for inlet



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 \

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 \

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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Comments on inlet

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


by force of circumstances

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