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

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 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 On the Outer Banks, new inlets could form while others are widened and deepened. Ben Finley, The Seattle Times, "AP Explains: Why North Carolina is vulnerable to hurricanes," 11 Sep. 2018 If Fila, the Italian sportswear behemoth is the river, then Fila Fjord, under the creative direction of Andersen, is the inlet: a gentler, meditative place to reflect on athleisure and luxury. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Introducing Fila Fjord, a New Brand Helmed by Astrid Andersen," 4 Dec. 2018 Desperation was evident across Palu, a city of more than 380,000 people that was hard-hit by both the quake and the tsunami, its force apparently magnified in the surrounding inlet. Niniek Karmini, The Seattle Times, "Desperation everywhere, aid slow to reach Indonesia victims," 1 Oct. 2018 Along a narrow inlet off the Gulf of Mexico, 2.8 billion cubic feet of natural gas rolls daily through the Sabine Pass plant, where it is cooled into a liquid and loaded onto tankers bound for Asia and South America. Christopher M. Matthews, WSJ, "Goldman Sachs in Talks to Buy a Tanker of Liquefied Natural Gas," 8 Aug. 2018 All of that water, there's so many rivers and inlets here. Fox News, "Nation marks 17 years since attacks of Sept. 11," 12 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

5 Feb 2019

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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 \

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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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

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