bloat vs swell vs inflate

Bormer

Member
Italian
Hi everybody,
Is anybody capable of explaining the difference between bloat/swell/inflate. ( i guess inflate is just when a human being blow air into something like a baloon for example but what about the other two?)
 
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Inflate is what we do to tyres, balloons etc. yes.

    I think bloat is the most likely verb for humans filling themselves with air, either because of gases in their intestines, or decomposition in a dead body.

    Swell can be used for both inanimate objects or humans, but it is not always due to air. Your ankle can swell when you have sprained it, either because of blood or tissue inflammation.
     

    Bormer

    Member
    Italian
    Inflate is what we do to tyres, balloons etc. yes.

    I think bloat is the most likely verb for humans filling themselves with air, either because of gases in their intestines, or decomposition in a dead body.

    Swell can be used for both inanimate objects or humans, but it is not always due to air. Your ankle can swell when you have sprained it, either because of blood or tissue inflammation.
    Thank you very much indeed.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    to bloat (transitive) = to increase in size, and by doing, so create a disadvantage, often with the implication of turgidness or flaccidity. "The latest version of Microsoft Word has been bloated yet again."
    To bloat (intransitive) = to swell up, usually with negative connotations. "After three weeks in the water, the body had bloated to the size of a walrus."

    to swell (transitive) = to increase in size or number, usually in a uniform manner. "The rains swell the fruit in the orchard."
    to swell (intransitive) = to grow beyond normal, usually in a uniform manner. "He saw that the bruise on his arm was swelling."

    to inflate (transitive/intransitive) = (i) to increase in size by internal pressure; "As the air went in, the balloon inflated." "The increase in temperature inflated the rubber tube."
    (ii) (fig.) to exaggerate. "To deceive his shareholders, the chairman inflated the profits."
     
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