1891, in reference to balloons, coinage based on inflate. L. deflare meant "to blow away," but in the modern word the prefix is taken in the sense of "down." Deflation in reference to currency or economic situations is from 1920.
file format, compression A compressionstandard derived from LZ77; it is reportedly used in zip, gzip, PKZIP, and png, among others. Unlike LZW, deflate compression does not use patented compression algorithms. Used as a verb to mean to compress (not decompress!) a file which has been compressed using deflate compression. The opposite, inflate, means to decompress data which has been deflated. Deflate is described in RFC 1951. (1997-06-21)