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90s Slang You Should Know


[res-puh-rey-ter] /ˈrɛs pəˌreɪ tər/
a masklike device, usually of gauze, worn over the mouth, or nose and mouth, to prevent the inhalation of noxious substances or the like.
British. gas mask.
Medicine/Medical. an apparatus to produce artificial respiration.
Origin of respirator
1785-95; < Latin respīrāt(us) (see respiration) + -or2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for respirator
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Against the use of such a respirator the obvious objection arises, that it becomes wet and heated by the breath.

  • I could see a respirator off to my right, and a suction octopus near it.

    Attrition Jim Wannamaker
  • The respirator is now in considerable demand, and it has already done good practical service.

  • The respirator, with its back in part removed, is shown in fig. 4.

  • He spoke in short phrases, closing tight his unmasked mouth between them while he sucked in breath through the respirator.

    The Moon is Green Fritz Reuter Leiber
British Dictionary definitions for respirator


an apparatus for providing long-term artificial respiration
Also called gas mask. a device worn over the mouth and nose to prevent inhalation of noxious fumes or to warm cold air before it is breathed
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
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Word Origin and History for respirator

1836, as an aid to breathing (originally a sort of gauze mask, agent noun from respire. As "machine to provide artificial respiration" from 1929.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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respirator in Medicine

respirator res·pi·ra·tor (rěs'pə-rā'tər)

  1. A device that supplies oxygen or a mixture of oxygen and carbon dioxide for breathing, used especially in artificial respiration. Also called inhalator.

  2. A screenlike device worn over the mouth or nose or both to protect the respiratory tract.

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