a version of the big bang theory in which the universe underwent very rapid growth during the first fraction of a second before it settled down to its current rate of expansion.
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British Dictionary definitions for inflationary universe
a variation of the cosmological big-bang theory in which the early stage of the evolution of the universe is postulated to include a period of accelerated expansion
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
Culture definitions for inflationary universe
A period early in the big bang during which the universal expansion proceeded at a much more rapid rate that it did before or since. Cosmologists believe that most of the matter in the universe was created during the period of inflation.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.