verb (used with object), de·flat·ed, de·flat·ing.

to release the air or gas from (something inflated, as a balloon): They deflated the tires slightly to allow the truck to drive under the overpass.
to depress or reduce (a person or a person's ego, hopes, spirits, etc.); puncture; dash: Her rebuff thoroughly deflated me.
to reduce (currency, prices, etc.) from an inflated condition; to affect with deflation.

verb (used without object), de·flat·ed, de·flat·ing.

to become deflated.

Origin of deflate

1890–95; < Latin dēflātus blown off, away (past participle of dēflāre), equivalent to dē- de- + fl(āre) to blow + -ātus -ate1
Related formsde·fla·tor, nounself-de·flat·ed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for deflate

Contemporary Examples of deflate

Historical Examples of deflate

  • But Millaird's tone, intended to deflate, had no effect on the major.

    The Time Traders

    Andre Norton

  • On landing they would solemnly don their clothes, deflate the skins, and go their way.

  • German cockroaches may attack newly molted nymphs of their own kind and cause them to deflate (Gould and Deay, 1938).

  • It seemed most everyone was rushing to deflate the pizza bubble and end our love affair with the anchovy.

    The Land of Look Behind

    Paul Cameron Brown

  • It may tend to deflate our ego to think that there may be intelligent beings not too different from us who are advanced beyond us.

British Dictionary definitions for deflate



to collapse or cause to collapse through the release of gas
(tr) to take away the self-esteem or conceit from
economics to cause deflation of (an economy, the money supply, etc)
Derived Formsdeflator, noun

Word Origin for deflate

C19: from de- + (in) flate
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 deflate

1891, in reference to balloons, coinage based on inflate. Latin deflare meant "to blow away," but in the modern word the prefix is taken in the sense of "down." Related: Deflated; deflating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper