Meaning of “inflate” in the English Dictionary

"inflate" in American English

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us /ɪnˈfleɪt/

inflate verb (FILL WITH AIR)

[ I/T ] to cause an object to increase in size and shape by filling it with air or gas, or (of an object) to become larger as a result of this process:

[ T ] to inflate balloons
[ I ] Air bags in cars are designed to inflate automatically on impact.

inflate verb (MAKE GREATER)

[ T ] to make a number or value higher or greater than it should be, or to make something seem more important than it really is:

Company officials misled the public in order to inflate the value of the company’s stock.
The story was inflated by the media.

(Definition of “inflate” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"inflate" in Business English

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uk /ɪnˈfleɪt/ us

[ I or T ] to increase the value or price of something, or to become more valuable or expensive:

People who bought homes years ago have seen the values inflate and property taxes rise with the inflation.
Weak export sales have helped to inflate inventories.

[ T ] to make a number, price, or value higher than it should be or than is reasonable, sometimes in order to deceive people:

Insurers fear that people will make up or inflate claims.


(Definition of “inflate” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)