Inflation is a process of continuously rising prices, or equivalently, of a continuously falling value of money.... A continuously falling value of pins, or of refrigerators, or of potatoes would not be regarded as a major social problem, important though it might be for the people directly engaged in the production and sale of those goods. The case of money is different precisely because the role that it plays in co-ordinating economic activity ensures that changes in its value over time impinge upon the well-being of everyone.
History is replete with many and long periods of inflation, whose features have been manifold. A number of adjectives have been used to describe different types of inflation in greater detail and to distinguish them from each other: mild, moderate, creeping, rapid, acute, severe, extreme, high, persistent, chronic, trotting, galloping, hyper, open, supressed, anticipated, unanticipated, and many more. These characterisations focus on scale, duration, causes, dynamics, expectations, repercussions and the urgency of stabilisation. However they are neither defined in an exact manner nor used in a uniform way.