/di flay"sheuhn/, n.1. the act of deflating or the state of being deflated.2. Econ. a fall in the general price level or a contraction of credit and available money (opposed to inflation). Cf. disinflation.3. the erosion of sand, soil, etc., by the action of the wind.[1890-95; DEFLATE + -ION]
* * *Contraction in the volume of available money or credit that results in a general decline in prices.A less extreme condition is known as disinflation. Attempts are sometimes made to bring on deflation (through raising interest rates and tightening the money supply) in order to combat inflation and slow the economy. Deflation is characteristic of depressions and recessions.
* * *in geology, erosion by wind of loose material from flat areas of dry, uncemented sediments such as those occurring in deserts, dry lake beds, floodplains, and glacial outwash plains. Clay and silt-sized particles are picked up by turbulent eddies in wind and may be carried for hundreds of kilometres; they later settle to form loess deposits. Local areas subjected to deflation may result in deflation hollows or blowouts. These may range from 3 m (10 feet) in diameter and less than a metre deep to several kilometres in diameter and several hundred metres in depth. The Big Hollow in Wyoming was formed by deflation and is 14.5 km (9 miles) long and 50 m (165 feet) deep. If an area is eroded down to the water table, further deflation is prevented unless the water table is also lowered by evaporation. Some oases (oasis) in the Sahara were formed in this manner and may be below sea level. Dune deposits are formed on the leeward sides of the basins from which the sand was blown.
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