Definition of inflate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪnˈfleɪt/


[usually with object]
1Fill (a balloon, tyre, or other expandable structure) with air or gas so that it becomes distended: never use an air line on a garage forecourt to inflate your tyres
More example sentences
  • At launch, the balloon is partially inflated with helium and expands as it rises.
  • If the balloon stays partially inflated, it can act as a sail and drag Fossett's closet-sized capsule for miles.
  • A few pebbles from my drive in a party balloon partially inflated with water served the purpose.
blown up, aerated, filled, puffed up, puffed out, pumped up;
dilated, distended, stretched, expanded, engorged, enlarged, swollen
1.1 [no object] Become distended with air or gas: the mattress inflated
More example sentences
  • About 10 minutes later, small air pockets throughout the mattress begin inflating and deflating to produce a gentle rocking motion.
  • They inflate differently and behave differently, and once blown up, they can't be deflated for storage or re-used.
  • Compressed air is blown into an opening and the two sheets inflate.
blow up, fill with air, aerate, fill up, puff up, puff out, pump up;
dilate, distend, swell
2Increase (something) by a large or excessive amount: objectives should be clearly set out so as not to duplicate work and inflate costs
More example sentences
  • Comedy production costs are greatly inflated by the price of hype.
  • Property agencies say this year's festival will see yet another increase in the number of flats on the temporary market, and at increasingly inflated prices.
  • However, as with exit fees, a growing number of lenders are cottoning on to the fact that inflated charges can increase their profits.
increase, raise, put up, boost, escalate, step up
informal hike up, jack up, bump up
increased, raised, boosted;
high, excessive, sky-high, unreasonable, unwarranted, disproportionate, prohibitive, outrageous, overinflated, exorbitant, extortionate;
British  over the odds
informal over the top, OTT, steep
2.1Exaggerate: numbers have been grossly inflated by the local press
More example sentences
  • The assertion that these claims have been shown to be grossly inflated is a little premature in my opinion.
  • More to the point, who is kidding who when you have to purchase your ticket to finals now grossly inflated in scale via the humiliations of a play-off?
  • If the claim to ‘reform’ is grossly inflated, the opposing claim to defend ‘free speech’ is even more ludicrous.
exaggerate, magnify, pump up, overplay, overstate, dramatize, elaborate, enhance, embellish, touch up, blow up, blow up out of all proportion;
increase, extend, amplify, augment, expand, intensify, swell;
stretch the truth
informal make a big thing out of
exaggerated, magnified, aggrandized, unwarranted, immoderate, pumped up, overblown, overripe, overstated, overplayed
3Bring about inflation of (a currency) or in (an economy): he has inflated the money supply to allow companies to continue in their old ways
More example sentences
  • This action would eliminate currency exchange risks and risks attached to purchasing goods from an economy with a hugely inflated currency.
  • At present, the State in nearly every country has achieved its major monetary goal: the ability to expand its revenue by inflating the currency at will.
  • Beginning with the War of Independence and continuing through the War on Terror, Americans have chosen to pay for their wars by borrowing money and inflating the currency.



Pronunciation: /ɪnˈfleɪtə/
(also inflator) noun
Example sentences
  • That leads to our next sure-fire house price inflator - transaction taxes, such as stamp duty.
  • So forget any housing price bubble factor for at least 5 years as an interest rate inflator.
  • Besides looking very different, the principal difference between the two inflators is in how they are put in the ‘ready’ mode.


Late Middle English: from Latin inflat- 'blown into', from the verb inflare, from in- 'into' + flare 'to blow'.

  • The Latin verb flare ‘to blow’ is the base of inflate, which literally means ‘blow into’. Deflate (mid 19th century) is its opposite.

Words that rhyme with inflate

abate, ablate, aerate, ait, await, backdate, bait, bate, berate, castrate, collate, conflate, crate, create, cremate, date, deflate, dictate, dilate, distraite, donate, downstate, eight, elate, equate, estate, fate, fête, fixate, freight, frustrate, gait, gate, gestate, gradate, grate, great, gyrate, hate, hydrate, innate, interrelate, interstate, irate, Kate, Kuwait, lactate, late, locate, lustrate, mandate, mate, migrate, misdate, misstate, mistranslate, mutate, narrate, negate, notate, orate, ornate, Pate, placate, plate, prate, prorate, prostrate, pulsate, pupate, quadrate, rate, rotate, sate, sedate, serrate, short weight, skate, slate, spate, spectate, spruit, stagnate, state, straight, strait, Tate, tête-à-tête, Thwaite, translate, translocate, transmigrate, truncate, underrate, understate, underweight, update, uprate, upstate, up-to-date, vacate, vibrate, wait, weight

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: in|flate

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