verb (used with object), in·flat·ed, in·flat·ing.
- to distend; swell or puff out; dilate: The king cobra inflates its hood.
- to cause to expand or distend with air or gas: to inflate a balloon.
- to puff up with pride, satisfaction, etc.
- to elate.
- Economics. to expand (money, prices, an economy, etc.) unduly in amount, value, or size; affect with inflation.
verb (used without object), in·flat·ed, in·flat·ing.
- to become inflated.
- to increase, especially suddenly and substantially: The $10 subscription has inflated to $25.
- to expand or cause to expand by filling with gas or airshe needed to inflate the tyres
- (tr) to cause to increase excessively; puff up; swellto inflate one’s opinion of oneself
- (tr) to cause inflation of (prices, money, etc)
- (tr) to raise in spirits; elate
- (intr) to undergo economic inflation
early 15c., “cause to swell,” from Latin inflatus, past participle of inflare “to blow into, inflate” (see inflation). Economics sense from 1844. In some senses a back-formation from inflation. Related: Inflatable; inflated; inflating.