[in-huh-ley-shuh n]
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Origin of inhalation

First recorded in 1615–25; inhale + -ation Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for inhalation


  1. the act of inhaling; breathing in of air or other vapours
  2. an inhalant formulation
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for inhalation

1620s, noun of action from past participle stem of Latin inhalare (see inhale).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

inhalation in Medicine


  1. The act or an instance of inhaling.
  2. A solution of a drug or a combination of drugs administered to the respiratory passages as a nebulized mist.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

inhalation in Science


  1. The act of taking in breath. Inhalation results from the negative pressure in the lungs caused by contraction of the diaphragm, which causes it to move downwards and to expand the chest cavity. The resulting flow of air into the lungs restores a pressure equal to that of the atmosphere. Also called inspiration Compare exhalation.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.