Definition of inhalation in US English:



  • 1The action of inhaling or breathing in.

    ‘the inhalation of airborne particles’
    ‘with every inhalation air passes over the vocal cords’
    • ‘One class teaches children to breathe like a bunny - two short inhalations, followed by a slow exhalation.’
    • ‘Breathe continuously, with no pauses between the exhalation and the inhalation.’
    • ‘Another form of meditation practice is to focus your attention on just one thing, like your breath, carefully counting your inhalations and exhalations and noticing the pauses in between.’
    • ‘Amanda took a sharp inhalation of breath before burying her face in Greg's chest, trying to hide from it, but she had seen it anyway.’
    • ‘There are almost 400 deaths a year from the inhalation of second-hand smoke.’
    • ‘Inhalant abuse is defined as the intentional inhalation of a volatile substance in order to achieve euphoria.’
    • ‘Hyperventilation is the repeated inhalation of fast, full breaths of air and rapid exhalation.’
    • ‘Vicki heard a quick inhalation of breath, a stifled cry, and a strangled curse followed by the slamming of the door to the room.’
    • ‘She awarded herself a lengthy inhalation or air.’
    • ‘She made no noise except the occasional inhalation and exhalation of air.’
    • ‘A slow inhalation with a 2 to 3 second breath hold followed by a slower exhalation is performed.’
    • ‘She snorted and threw an arm over her stiff eyes, breathing with deep, even inhalations.’
    • ‘The potential health hazards associated with inhalation of airborne pollutants are now well recognized.’
    • ‘The normal pulse resides at the middle level and is usually about four or five beats for each complete inhalation and exhalation of breath.’
    • ‘Breath control involves techniques for training the inhalation, exhalation and the period of retention in-between.’
    • ‘The carcinogenic effect of diesel exhaust exposure is mainly ascribed to the inhalation of particles.’
    • ‘Surrender to your next inhalation, let the breath breathe you, and simultaneously relax the body as much as possible.’
    • ‘Treatment includes resting the voice and inhalation of humidified air.’
    • ‘Upon inhalation, tiny particles are taken to the roof of the nose and up behind the eyes.’
    • ‘A sharp inhalation of breath proved to Bryan that he was in fact getting somewhere with her, at which he had to suppress a smirk.’
    gulp of air, inspiration
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Medicine The inhaling of medicines or anesthetics in the form of a gas or vapor.
      • ‘All treatments were administered by inhalation with a breath-activated DPI device for 28 consecutive days.’
      • ‘Thus, in 1914, anticholinergics by injection or inhalation were considered as first-line asthma therapies.’
      • ‘The medication is administered via inhalation using a plastic device included in the package with the medication.’
      • ‘Sputum induction using inhalation of hypertonic saline appears to be safe for individuals with CF.’
      • ‘Medicines were given orally, by inhalation or by enema.’
    2. 1.2Medicine A preparation to be inhaled in the form of a vapor or spray.
      • ‘They can come in a wide range of formulations - including syrups, tinctures, lotions, inhalations, gargles and washes.’
      • ‘She has a history of asthma attacks that are normally easily controlled with salbutamol inhalations.’


Early 17th century: from medieval Latin inhalatio(n-), from inhalare ‘inhale’.