What does the term inflation mean?

The term inflation has a few different but related meanings. If you blow air into a balloon you are inflating it, making it expand. That is a kind of inflation. The term is also used in economics to describe a general increase in prices and wages, which is equivalent to a decrease in the value of a unit of currency (such as a dollar). Prices get larger, so they are said to be inflating. If they get lower, that can be called deflation.