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


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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 The tides shifted slightly back in favor of landfills. Enter Fresh Kills, which consists of a tidal inlet and salt marshes on the western coast of Staten Island. Robin Kaiser-schatzlein, The New Yorker, "The History of New York, Told Through Its Trash," 24 Apr. 2021 Sunbathers lounge on Sand Beach, a hidey-hide inlet where lovers gather at night. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Back to Bar Harbor: Reporter revisits his boyhood years to capture the magic of the past," 11 Apr. 2021 Boaters will love the 110 feet of waterfront on the Surprise inlet from Biscayne Bay that leads into Surprise Lake. Howard Walker, Robb Report, "Home of the Week: This $21 Million Achille Salvagni-Designed Miami Beach Mansion Is a Retro-Cool Paradise," 30 Mar. 2021 These are the same landscapes the people who erected these monoliths saw—peat bogs pockmarked by small lochs, an inlet of the sea to the south rippled with whitecaps. Stanley Stewart, Travel + Leisure, "Visit Distilleries, Castles, and Dramatic Cliffs on Scotland’s Hebrides Islands," 22 Mar. 2021 The barrier island town east of Boynton Beach stretches from the Boynton Beach inlet to south of Woolbright Road and Douglas Drive near Briny Breezes. Carline Jean,, "Air Force drone washes ashore in Ocean Ridge," 19 Mar. 2021 The craggy inlet that leads into this fishing port is banked by steep slopes blanketed with trees. Gavin Blair, The Christian Science Monitor, "10 years after tsunami: A Japanese town rebuilds its homes and heart," 26 Feb. 2021 The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office received a report at about 6:19 p.m. of a man and a dog who had gone overboard into the Swan Island lagoon, an inlet of the Willamette River in North Portland. oregonlive, "Fisherman dies after falling overboard in Willamette River," 7 Mar. 2021 The picturesque slopes of Minamisanriku’s inlet compressed the surging waters, amplifying the already immense power of the tsunami. Gavin Blair, The Christian Science Monitor, "10 years after tsunami: A Japanese town rebuilds its homes and heart," 26 Feb. 2021

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of inlet was circa 1576

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Statistics for inlet

Last Updated

30 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inlet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 May. 2021.

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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 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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Nglish: Translation of inlet for Spanish Speakers

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