Definition of ventilate in English:


Syllabification: ven·ti·late
Pronunciation: /ˈventəˌlāt


[with object]
  • 1Cause air to enter and circulate freely in (a room, building, etc.): ventilate the greenhouse well [as adjective, in combination]: (-ventilated) gas heaters should only ever be used in well-ventilated rooms
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    • Every part of the living area is properly ventilated, with each room given a huge opening that enhances a sense of spaciousness.
    • Their laboratory was three mechanically ventilated office buildings.
    • The building was evacuated as two teams of two fire fighters entered the building to clear up the spillage and ventilate the factory.
  • 1.1(Of air) purify or freshen (something) by blowing on or through it: a colossus ventilated by the dawn breeze
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    • Antibiotic concentrations declined by 70 percent during that period if the sample was ventilated with forced air.
    • Membrane oxygenators consist of a series of fine tubes which allow diffusion of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the blood flowing through them and the ventilating gas surrounding them.
  • 1.2 Medicine Subject to artificial respiration.
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    • In Brazil, 55 % of patients mechanically ventilated for acute lung injury died.
    • Each animal was artificially ventilated, and the mechanical respiratory properties of the mouse were measured.
    • A sterile, second airway is needed in this instance to ventilate the lung.
  • 1.3 archaic Oxygenate (the blood).
  • 2Discuss or examine (an opinion, issue, complaint, etc.) in public: he used the club to ventilate an ongoing complaint
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    • Over the next few days I plan to really ventilate the issue, to open up for discussion and so on.
    • It is also a remedy in public law for safeguarding public law rights and for ventilating public law issues.
    • Her erstwhile colleagues in Cabinet report that Ms Short was never timid about ventilating her opinions.


late Middle English (in the sense 'winnow, scatter'): from Latin ventilat- 'blown, winnowed', from the verb ventilare, from ventus 'wind'. The sense 'cause air to circulate in' dates from the mid 18th century.

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