ven·​ti·​late | \ ˈven-tə-ˌlāt How to pronounce ventilate (audio) \
ventilated; ventilating

Definition of ventilate

transitive verb

1a : to expose to air and especially to a current of fresh air for purifying, curing, or refreshing ventilate stored grain also : oxygenate, aerate ventilate blood in the lungs
b : to subject the lungs to ventilation artificially ventilate a patient in respiratory distress
2a : to examine, discuss, or investigate freely and openly : expose ventilating family quarrels in public
b : to make public : utter ventilated their objections at length
3a of a current of air : to pass or circulate through so as to freshen
b : to cause fresh air to circulate through (a place, such as a room or a mine)
4 : to provide an opening in (a burning structure) to permit escape of smoke and heat
5 archaic : to free from chaff by winnowing

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Synonyms & Antonyms for ventilate



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Examples of ventilate in a Sentence

She opened the windows to ventilate the room. The room was adequately ventilated.
Recent Examples on the Web Firefighters did arrive to air out the home, remaining at least an hour, with an electric company crew reporting at about 9 p.m. that the house was ventilated and posed no hazard. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, "Four companies called off after house fire call turns out to be open burn: Moreland Hills Police Blotter," 7 Feb. 2020 The room was poorly ventilated, officials told Sky News. Fox News, "Eight Indian tourists, including 4 children, died while vacationing in Nepal's Himalayas," 22 Jan. 2020 The price of our all-wheel-drive Signature trim CX-5 is $39,850, which got us a Bose sound system, adaptive headlights, a heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats (ventilated in front), and a 360-degree parking camera. Austin Irwin, Car and Driver, "Our Mazda CX-5 Turbo Deserves a Better Infotainment System," 3 Feb. 2020 The hazmat team ventilated the welcome center building after shutting the gas off. Dana Branham, Dallas News, "16 people at The Bridge homeless shelter taken to hospitals after positive carbon monoxide reading," 2 Feb. 2020 Firefighters were forced to break a few windows in a effort to ventilate the building, according to officials. Abigail Feldman,, "Malden woman escapes flames after 2-alarm house fire," 26 Aug. 2019 Seats were wide, firm, and supportive, heated front and rear, and ventilated in the front. Emma Jayne Williams,, "Auto review: Mazda6 sedan gets updates for 2019, including advanced safety technology," 1 Nov. 2019 Don't want all the fuss of ensuring your interiors are sufficiently ventilated? Customize a freestanding sauna outside. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, "A Home Sauna Is the Best Gift You Will Ever Give Yourself," 18 Oct. 2019 Once the wigs are ventilated, or hand-tied, the hair is styled, then shipped out to the customer with a wig care booklet. Dahlia Ghabour, The Courier-Journal, "This Louisville company is hand-making the best 'Designer Santa Beards' in the world," 18 Dec. 2019

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for ventilate

Middle English, "discussed, aired," borrowed from Latin ventilātus, past participle of ventilāre "to expose to the air, fan, expose to consideration," from ventus "wind" + -ilāre, verbal suffix, variant of -ulāre originally in derivatives of nouns ending in -ulus, -ula, -ulum -ule — more at wind entry 1

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Time Traveler for ventilate

Time Traveler

The first known use of ventilate was in the 15th century

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Statistics for ventilate

Last Updated

24 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ventilate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for ventilate


How to pronounce ventilate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ventilate

: to allow fresh air to enter and move through (a room, building, etc.)
formal : to express or discuss (something) openly or publicly


ven·​ti·​late | \ ˈven-tə-ˌlāt How to pronounce ventilate (audio) \
ventilated; ventilating

Kids Definition of ventilate

1 : to let in air and especially a current of fresh air Windows ventilate the room.
2 : to provide with fresh air Keep the plants ventilated.
3 : to discuss freely and openly You should ventilate your complaints.


transitive verb
ven·​ti·​late | \ ˈvent-ᵊl-ˌāt How to pronounce ventilate (audio) \
ventilated; ventilating

Medical Definition of ventilate

1 : to expose to air and especially to a current of fresh air for purifying or refreshing
2a : oxygenate, aerate ventilate blood in the lungs
b : to subject the lungs of (an individual) to ventilation artificially ventilate a patient in respiratory distress
3 : to give verbal expression to (as mental or emotional conflicts)

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