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


air, expound, express, give, look, raise, sound, state, vent, voice


stifle, suppress

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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

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 Fire officials ventilated the home and the situation is stable, Hook said. Molly Hudson, azcentral, "Elderly couple and firefighter sent to hospital after car left running overnight," 16 June 2019 Running the dishwasher and laundry machines, using the stove, bathing (without using ventilating fans) and leaving lights on also contribute to heat gain. Ap Mcclatchy, The Mercury News, "Angie’s List: How to keep cool this summer without A/C," 28 June 2019 The Palisade also has ventilated second-row seats to keep passengers comfortable on long drives. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "Drivers will love these odd features on the 2020 Hyundai Palisade," 20 July 2019 The source of the leak was shut off and fire crews were ventilating the building as of Thursday afternoon. Libby Solomon,, "Three hospitalized after carbon monoxide leak that affected Rosedale Center alternative school," 6 June 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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Statistics for ventilate

Last Updated

7 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ventilate

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

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More Definitions for ventilate



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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