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

  1. to distend; swell or puff out; dilate: The king cobra inflates its hood.
  2. to cause to expand or distend with air or gas: to inflate a balloon.
  3. to puff up with pride, satisfaction, etc.
  4. to elate.
  5. 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.

  1. to become inflated.
  2. to increase, especially suddenly and substantially: The $10 subscription has inflated to $25.


  1. to expand or cause to expand by filling with gas or airshe needed to inflate the tyres
  2. (tr) to cause to increase excessively; puff up; swellto inflate one’s opinion of oneself
  3. (tr) to cause inflation of (prices, money, etc)
  4. (tr) to raise in spirits; elate
  5. (intr) to undergo economic inflation

v.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.

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