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 Its large units ventilate buildings with kitchens, such as restaurants and hotels, executives told The Courier Journal during a prior expansion in 2010. Grace Schneider, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville HVAC manufacturer will hire 400 new workers in $50M investment plan," 31 Oct. 2019 Fire crews evacuated the building and checked on area residents before ventilating the structure. USA TODAY, "Lynyrd Skynyrd, ‘Breaking Bad’ beer, cheetahs, record muskie: News from around our 50 states," 24 Oct. 2019 Cleansed areas should remain well-ventilated to ensure the virus does not linger. Ramona Sentinel, "Julian brush mouse tests positive for hantavirus," 4 Oct. 2019 The bill that Hill shelved would have required the California Highway Patrol to inspect buses and limousines to make sure driver compartments are sealed off and separately ventilated. Los Angeles Times, "A ban on marijuana use on party buses wins approval from California lawmakers," 12 Sep. 2019 Krzysztof said up to three-hour breaks are needed between the explosions to safely ventilate the air in the cave. Washington Post, "Rescuers use explosives to seek 2 cavers trapped in Poland," 19 Aug. 2019 Local utility Manitoba Hydro cut off the gas supply to the motel to further investigate the source of the carbon monoxide and begin ventilating the building. Fox News, "Dozens hospitalized after carbon monoxide exposure at Winnipeg motel," 10 July 2019 Remove your hearing devices at night and, if possible, open the casing door to allow air to ventilate the interior. Trihealth,, "Protect your investment in hearing devices: 5 essential tips," 25 June 2019 No power outages were reported in the Edgemere area as of 10 a.m., according to Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. Carbon monoxide is produced anytime fuel is burned, and can build up dangerously if exhaust isn’t properly ventilated. Scott Dance,, "Nine people taken to Shock Trauma as high carbon monoxide levels reported in Edgemere homes," 4 Aug. 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

17 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Ventilate.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 9 December 2019.

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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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