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’
    • ‘She snorted and threw an arm over her stiff eyes, breathing with deep, even inhalations.’
    • ‘One class teaches children to breathe like a bunny - two short inhalations, followed by a slow exhalation.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The normal pulse resides at the middle level and is usually about four or five beats for each complete inhalation and exhalation of breath.’
    • ‘Vicki heard a quick inhalation of breath, a stifled cry, and a strangled curse followed by the slamming of the door to the room.’
    • ‘The potential health hazards associated with inhalation of airborne pollutants are now well recognized.’
    • ‘Inhalant abuse is defined as the intentional inhalation of a volatile substance in order to achieve euphoria.’
    • ‘Breathe continuously, with no pauses between the exhalation and the inhalation.’
    • ‘A slow inhalation with a 2 to 3 second breath hold followed by a slower exhalation is performed.’
    • ‘Upon inhalation, tiny particles are taken to the roof of the nose and up behind the eyes.’
    • ‘There are almost 400 deaths a year from the inhalation of second-hand smoke.’
    • ‘Hyperventilation is the repeated inhalation of fast, full breaths of air and rapid exhalation.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She made no noise except the occasional inhalation and exhalation of air.’
    • ‘She awarded herself a lengthy inhalation or air.’
    • ‘Treatment includes resting the voice and inhalation of humidified air.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Surrender to your next inhalation, let the breath breathe you, and simultaneously relax the body as much as possible.’
    gulp of air, inspiration
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Medicine The inhaling of medicines or anesthetics in the form of a gas or vapor.
      • ‘Sputum induction using inhalation of hypertonic saline appears to be safe for individuals with CF.’
      • ‘Medicines were given orally, by inhalation or by enema.’
      • ‘All treatments were administered by inhalation with a breath-activated DPI device for 28 consecutive days.’
      • ‘The medication is administered via inhalation using a plastic device included in the package with the medication.’
      • ‘Thus, in 1914, anticholinergics by injection or inhalation were considered as first-line asthma therapies.’
    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’.