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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.
inhale in·hale (ĭn-hāl')
v. in·haled, in·hal·ing, in·hales
To breathe in; inspire.
To draw something such as smoke or a medicinal mist into the lungs by breathing; inspire.
To eat or drink, esp rapidly: I inhaled my lunch because I didn't have much time to eat (1924+)Related Terms