Definition of insufflate in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Medicine
    Blow (air, gas, or powder) into a cavity of the body.

    • ‘Once gastric placement was confirmed, 500 to 1000 mL of air was insufflated and the tube was advanced.’
    • ‘Gas is insufflated through the catheter at various flow rates.’
    • ‘In these patients, talc was insufflated and suction was applied until adhesions formed.’
    • ‘The gas then is insufflated into the vitreous cavity by a technique called gas/fluid exchange.’
    • ‘It is one of the best ways to insufflate talc in the pleural cavity.’
    1. 1.1 Blow something into or through (a part of the body).
      • ‘The surgeon places a 10-mm port in the umbilicus and insufflates the abdomen with carbon dioxide to 15 mm of pressure.’
      • ‘They stacked the consecutively delivered air volumes, holding them with a closed glottis, until the lungs and chest walls were as deeply insufflated as possible.’
      • ‘The surgeon introduces a Verres needle at the umbilicus and insufflates the peritoneum with carbon dioxide to a pressure of 12 mm Hg.’
      • ‘We used a 50 milligram per millilitre solution of iodine and insufflated the external auditory canal with starch powder after allowing sufficient time for drying.’
      • ‘The surgeon insufflates (ie, injects gas into) the child's abdomen with carbon dioxide until a pressure of 10 mm Hg is achieved to create pneumoperitoneum.’
  • 2Theology
    Blow or breathe on (someone) to symbolize spiritual influence.

    • ‘The task of cinema would be not to represent this but to actualise its trajectories, to insufflate the fiber of this transcendental universe.’


Late 17th century: from late Latin insufflat- ‘blown into’, from the verb insufflare, from in- ‘into’ + sufflare ‘blow’ (from sub- ‘from below’ + flare ‘to blow’). insufflate (sense 2) dates from the early 20th century.