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[ven-tl-eyt] /ˈvɛn tlˌeɪt/
verb (used with object), ventilated, ventilating.
to provide (a room, mine, etc.) with fresh air in place of air that has been used or contaminated.
  1. to oxygenate (blood) by exposure to air in the lungs or gills.
  2. to assist the breathing of (a person), as with a respirator.
(of air or wind) to circulate through or blow on, so as to cool or freshen the air of:
Cool breezes ventilated the house.
to expose to the action of air or wind:
to ventilate floor timbers.
to submit (a question, problem, etc.) to open, full examination and discussion.
to give utterance or expression to (an opinion, complaint, etc.).
to furnish with a vent or opening, as for the escape of air or gas.
verb (used without object), ventilated, ventilating.
to give utterance or expression to one's emotions, opinions, complaints, etc.
Origin of ventilate
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English ventilatten to blow (something) away < Latin ventilātus (past participle of ventilāre to fan), equivalent to vent(us) wind1 + -il- v. suffix (variant of -ul-, orig. after derivatives of nouns ending in -ulus -ule; cf. speculate) + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
ventilable, adjective
overventilate, verb (used with object), overventilated, overventilating.
reventilate, verb (used with object), reventilated, reventilating.
self-ventilated, adjective
underventilate, verb (used with object), underventilated, underventilating.
underventilated, adjective
unventilated, adjective
well-ventilated, adjective
5. broadcast, publicize, circulate, report. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for ventilate
Historical Examples
  • He may ventilate his knowledge very freely, but by so doing he simply plays into your hands.

    Out of a Labyrinth Lawrence L. Lynch
  • Sometimes there are openings through the core from end to end to ventilate and cool it.

    How it Works Archibald Williams
  • He is welcome to them (as he was to my humble hearth), if they can divert a spleen, or ventilate a fit of sullenness.

  • To air Plants, and ventilate Rooms wherein they are contained.

  • In two or three hours the men would come and open the doors and windows and ventilate the place.

    The Market-Place Harold Frederic
  • What fun it was to dig him out, and ventilate his musty nest of fish-bones!

    Pastoral Days William Hamilton Gibson
  • There are some wide cracks in the siding, but they help to ventilate, and make it healthier for the cattle.

    The Elements of Agriculture George E. Waring
  • My dear, the object of a meeting is to ventilate the subject.

    Mrs. Dorriman, Volume 3 of 3 Julie Bosville Chetwynd
  • "I don't know as I wants to ventilate yu; we mostly poisons coyotes up my way," he added.

    Hopalong Cassidy's Rustler Round-Up Clarence Edward Mulford
  • These are broad questions that a man of liberal mind dare not ventilate.

    Black Diamonds Mr Jkai
British Dictionary definitions for ventilate


verb (transitive)
to drive foul air out of (an enclosed area)
to provide with a means of airing
to expose (a question, grievance, etc) to public examination or discussion
(physiol) to oxygenate (the blood) in the capillaries of the lungs
to winnow (grain)
Derived Forms
ventilable, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from Latin ventilāre to fan, from ventulus diminutive of ventus wind
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ventilate

mid-15c., "to blow away something" (of wind), from Latin ventilatus, past participle of ventilare "to brandish, toss in the air, winnow, fan, agitate, set in motion," from ventulus "a breeze," diminutive of ventus "wind" (see wind (n.1)). Original notion is of cleaning grain by tossing it in the air and letting the wind blow away the chaff. Meaning "supply a room with fresh air" first recorded 1660s (implied in ventilation). Slang sense of "shoot" (someone) is recorded from 1875. Related: Ventilated; ventilating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for ventilate



Profit, esp an easy and unexpected profit; gambler's winnings; money in general: There are substantial money returns, ''velvet,'' for those who secure places (1901+)

Related Terms

beggar's velvet, blue velvet, on velvet

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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