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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 ventilating
Historical Examples
  • "I am very giddy and faint," Arthur said, when Charles came back to him after his ventilating operation.

    Gretchen Mary J. Holmes
  • (Hygiene) Winds are nature's means of ventilating the earth.

    Ontario Teachers' Manuals: Nature Study Ontario Ministry of Education
  • I pushed out the ventilating cylinder, hurried back to the doctor's compartment and thrust in the bulkhead.

    Pharaoh's Broker Ellsworth Douglass
  • Forepaugh leaped to the ventilating louver and closed it tightly.

  • He ran a lot of ropes down a ventilating shaft for the rats to climb on.

    The Rat Racket David Henry Keller
  • Especially is this control of openings important in ventilating barns.

    Rural Hygiene Henry N. Ogden
  • She had no fans, nor ventilating system such as we have on the United Fruit boats.

    War in the Garden of Eden Kermit Roosevelt
  • It should have a tin-pipe connection with flue or other ventilating apparatus.

    Convenient Houses Louis Henry Gibson
  • The position of the ventilating arrangement depends upon the position of the fowls at night.

    Making a Poultry House Mary Roberts Conover
  • Care should be taken in ventilating to protect the plants from a draft of cold air.

British Dictionary definitions for ventilating


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 ventilating



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 ventilating



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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