Hmm, I'm surprised this wasn't in The American Underworld ventilate is also sometime gangster slang for 'to shoot.' Presumably the reference involves making holes in someone and letting the air flow in/out...

Ven"ti*late (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Ventilated (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Ventilating.] [L. ventilatus, p. p. of ventilare to toss, brandish in the air, to fan, to winnow, from ventus wind; akin to E. wind. See Wind rushing air.]


To open and expose to the free passage of air; to supply with fresh air, and remove impure air from; to air; as, to ventilate a room; to ventilate a cellar; to ventilate a mine.


To provide with a vent, or escape, for air, gas, etc.; as, to ventilate a mold, or a water-wheel bucket.


To change or renew, as the air of a room.



To winnow; to fan; as, to ventilate wheat.


To sift and examine; to bring out, and subject to penetrating scrutiny; to expose to examination and discussion; as, to ventilate questions of policy.



To give vent; to utter; to make public.

Macaulay took occasion to ventilate one of those starling, but not very profound, paradoxes. J. C. Shairp.


© Webster 1913.

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