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[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
  • Once through the double portals, she pulled the respirator from her face.

    Foundling on Venus John de Courcy
  • She looked at the small bundle, walked over and slipped off his respirator.

    Foundling on Venus John de Courcy
  • In sonorous, booming tones, somewhat muffled by his respirator.

    A Book of Burlesques

    H. L. Mencken
  • He slipped a respirator over his head and moved into the corridor.

    The Status Civilization Robert Sheckley
  • I could see a respirator off to my right, and a suction octopus near it.

    Attrition Jim Wannamaker
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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