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[in-fleyt] /ɪnˈfleɪt/
verb (used with object), inflated, inflating.
to distend; swell or puff out; dilate:
The king cobra inflates its hood.
to cause to expand or distend with air or gas:
to inflate a balloon.
to puff up with pride, satisfaction, etc.
to elate.
Economics. to expand (money, prices, an economy, etc.) unduly in amount, value, or size; affect with inflation.
verb (used without object), inflated, inflating.
to become inflated.
to increase, especially suddenly and substantially:
The $10 subscription has inflated to $25.
Origin of inflate
1470-80; < Latin inflātus past participle of inflāre to blow on or into, puff out, equivalent to in- in-2 + flā- blow2 + -tus past participle suffix
Related forms
inflater, inflator, noun
overinflate, verb (used with object), overinflated, overinflating.
reinflate, verb, reinflated, reinflating.
1. See expand.
1. deflate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for inflates
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • inflates his chest, puts his hand in his bosom, and strikes an attitude.

  • inflates land values so that farming doesn't pay with the already heavy building charges for the dam.

    Still Jim Honor Willsie Morrow
  • The new born infant inhales air, inflates its lungs with air, and begins to live.

    Lectures on Language William S. Balch
  • You may be sure April has really come when this little amphibian creeps out of the mud and inflates its throat.

    A Year in the Fields John Burroughs
  • As one inflates an air-cushion, I am now with my person inflating the crocodile.

    Short Stories Fiodor Dostoievski
  • He never sinks English success into failure, or inflates French failure into victory.

British Dictionary definitions for inflates


to expand or cause to expand by filling with gas or air: she needed to inflate the tyres
(transitive) to cause to increase excessively; puff up; swell: to inflate one's opinion of oneself
(transitive) to cause inflation of (prices, money, etc)
(transitive) to raise in spirits; elate
(intransitive) to undergo economic inflation
Derived Forms
inflatedly, adverb
inflatedness, noun
inflater, inflator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin inflāre to blow into, from flāre to blow
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for inflates



early 15c., "cause to swell," from Latin inflatus, past participle of inflare "to blow into, inflate" (see inflation). Economics sense from 1844. In some senses a back-formation from inflation. Related: Inflatable; inflated; inflating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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