Inflated, flatulent, tumid, turgid mean filled with something insubstantial (as air or vapor).
Inflated implies expansion by the introduction of something (as a gas) lacking in substance to the point where the walls are stretched taut or tension is evident. In its extended use inflated implies a stretching or expanding, often by artificial or questionable means, to a point not justified by reality or truth; thus, currency is said to be inflated when the amount in circulation far exceeds the amount normally necessary to meet the demands of trade and commerce; one’s ego is said to be inflated when one is puffed up with self-confidence and pride not warranted by one’s ability or achievements; a style may be described as inflated when it is far more pretentious or imposing than its subject matter warrants.
Flatulent applies basically to persons or their organs when gases generating in the alimentary canal cause distention of stomach or bowels. In its extended use flatulent usually implies emptiness with the appearance of fullness or a lack of pith or substance.
Tumid implies noticeable enlargement by swelling or bloating, especially as a result of an abnormal condition. In its extended use tumid implies an abnormal or conspicuous increase in volume without a proportionate increase in substance and often suggests pretentiousness or bombast.
Turgid is not always distinguishable from tumid; however, it is more often used when normal distention as distinct from morbid bloating is implied. Consequently, in extended use, especially as applied to literary expression or style, turgid often adds to tumid the connotation of unrestrained vitality or of undisciplined emotion, especially as manifest in bombast, rant, or rhapsody (see BOMBAST ). In general, however, turgid may be used to describe anything that is not measured or restrained and perfectly in keeping with orderly thought.