[ in-heyl ]
/ ɪnˈheɪl /

verb (used with object), in·haled, in·hal·ing.

to breathe in; draw in by breathing: to inhale the polluted air.

verb (used without object), in·haled, in·hal·ing.

to breathe in, especially the smoke of cigarettes, cigars, etc.: Do you inhale when you smoke?

Nearby words

  1. inhalation analgesia,
  2. inhalation anesthesia,
  3. inhalation anesthetic,
  4. inhalation therapy,
  5. inhalator,
  6. inhaler,
  7. inhambane,
  8. inhance,
  9. inharmonic,
  10. inharmonious

Origin of inhale

First recorded in 1715–25; in-2 + (ex)hale

Related formsun·in·haled, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for inhale

British Dictionary definitions for inhale


/ (ɪnˈheɪl) /


to draw (breath) into the lungs; breathe in

Word Origin for inhale

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for inhale


[ ĭn-hāl ]


To breathe in; inspire.
To draw something such as smoke or a medicinal mist into the lungs by breathing; inspire.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.