• synonyms


verb (used with object)
  1. to expand or distend, as with air, water, etc.; cause to swell: Overeating bloated their bellies.
  2. to puff up; make vain or conceited: The promotion has bloated his ego to an alarming degree.
  3. to cure (fishes) as bloaters.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to become swollen; be puffed out or dilated: The carcass started to bloat.
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  1. Also called hoven. Veterinary Pathology. (in cattle, sheep, and horses) a distention of the rumen or paunch or of the large colon by gases of fermentation, caused by eating ravenously of green forage, especially legumes.
  2. a person or thing that is bloated.
  3. bloater(defs 1, 2).
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Origin of bloat

1250–1300; earlier bloat (adj.) soft, puffy, Middle English blout < Old Norse blautr wet, soft

Synonyms for bloat

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for bloating

inflate, swell, distend, dilate, balloon, bilge, enlarge, belly, billow, expand

Examples from the Web for bloating

Contemporary Examples of bloating

Historical Examples of bloating

British Dictionary definitions for bloating


  1. to swell or cause to swell, as with a liquid, air, or wind
  2. to become or cause to be puffed up, as with conceit
  3. (tr) to cure (fish, esp herring) by half-drying in smoke
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  1. vet science an abnormal distention of the abdomen in cattle, sheep, etc, caused by accumulation of gas in the stomach
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Word Origin for bloat

C17: probably related to Old Norse blautr soaked, Old English blāt pale
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

Word Origin and History for bloating



1670s, "to cause to swell" (earlier, in reference to cured fish, "to cause to be soft," 1610s), from now obsolete bloat (adj.), attested from c.1300 as "soft, flabby, flexible, pliable," but by 17c. meaning "puffed up, swollen." Perhaps from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse blautr "soaked, soft from being cooked in liquid" (cf. Swedish blöt fisk "soaked fish"), possibly from Proto-Germanic *blaut-, from PIE *bhleu- "to swell, well up, overflow," an extension of root *bhel- (2) "to blow, inflate, swell" (see bole).

Influenced by or combined with Old English blawan "blow, puff." Figurative use by 1711. Intransitive meaning "to swell, to become swollen" is from 1735. Related: Bloated; bloating.

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1860 as a disease of livestock, from bloat (v.). Meaning "bloatedness" is from 1905.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

bloating in Medicine


  1. Abdominal distention due to swallowed air or intestinal gas production.
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Related formsbloated (blōtĭd) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.