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See more synonyms for inhale on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), in·haled, in·hal·ing.
  1. to breathe in; draw in by breathing: to inhale the polluted air.
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verb (used without object), in·haled, in·hal·ing.
  1. to breathe in, especially the smoke of cigarettes, cigars, etc.: Do you inhale when you smoke?
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Origin of inhale

First recorded in 1715–25; in-2 + (ex)hale
Related formsun·in·haled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for inhale


  1. to draw (breath) into the lungs; breathe in
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Word Origin

C18: from in- ² + Latin halāre to breathe
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 inhale


1725, "to breathe in," back-formation from inhalation or else from Latin inhalare "breathe upon," from in- "upon" (see in- (2)) + halare "breathe." Related: Inhaled; inhaling. Current sense is because the word was taken as the opposite of exhale. Slang sense of "eat rapidly" is recorded from 1924. As a noun, by 1934. Related: Inhaled; inhaling.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

inhale in Medicine


  1. To breathe in; inspire.
  2. To draw something such as smoke or a medicinal mist into the lungs by breathing; inspire.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.