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

Young eels migrate thousands of miles to Scottish rivers and lochs - lakes or sea inlets - from waters near the Bahamas, the BBC reported. oregonlive, "The Loch Ness Monster is still a mystery. But scientists have some new evidence for a theory," 6 Sep. 2019 Maryland Ocean City: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is dredging the city’s inlet. USA TODAY, "Emoji house, Saharan dust, turtle crossing: News from around our 50 states," 8 Aug. 2019 Young Lakes: This trip starts with the short hike to Dog Lake at 8,743 feet (1.7 miles one-way to the head of the lake and the inlet; no camping), a popular day hike with a picnic. Tom Stienstra,, "Yosemite’s high country finally opens to camping, hiking," 17 July 2019 One witness who tweeted out a photo of the scene said a Loyola University Health System nurse stopped his car and helped the driver of a car that had gone down the embankment and hit a tree near the harbor inlet. Javonte Anderson,, "Man in critical condition after driving over embankment on Lake Shore Drive," 10 June 2019 The water would be caught by inlets in the path, built near larger bodies of water such as Cypress Creek. Chevall Pryce, Houston Chronicle, "Tunnels could be a viable solution to flooding in Houston," 21 Aug. 2019 The Sony logo and microphone inlet are adorned with rose cold/copper accents, so these earbuds look at home when sitting next to the 1000XM3 headphones. Chris Welch, The Verge, "Sony’s new noise-canceling wireless earbuds are its best answer to AirPods yet," 5 July 2019 Set sail from Náxos on a day-long sailing excursion, and anchor at secluded beaches and inlets. National Geographic, "Greek Islands Adventure," 12 June 2019 The body found Thursday was in the Mokelumne River near the inlet of Lake Pardee. Hollie Silverman, CNN, "Cops think body found in California river is an automotive writer who went missing on road test," 21 June 2019

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

17 Sep 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

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


to spread over or through

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