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[res-per-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, ri-spahyuh r-uh-] /ˈrɛs pər əˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i, rɪˈspaɪər ə-/
pertaining to or serving for respiration:
respiratory disease.
Origin of respiratory
1780-90; < Late Latin respīrātōrius, equivalent to Latin respīrā(re) to respire + -tōrius -tory1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for respiratory
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The pulsations of the heart and the respiratory movements are less frequent, and the circulation is slower.

    A Practical Physiology Albert F. Blaisdell
  • He then, with a stethoscope, ausculated the lungs, or listened to the respiratory sounds.

    Doctor Jones' Picnic S. E. Chapman
  • The respiratory apparatus in all the terrestrial vertebrates is of the same kind—one single pair of lungs.

    The Origin of Vertebrates Walter Holbrook Gaskell
  • No palpitation or respiratory movement can be detected in it.

    The Insect Jules Michelet
  • Death was often sudden, resulting chiefly from cardiac and respiratory complications.

British Dictionary definitions for respiratory


/ˈrɛspərətərɪ; -trɪ/
of, relating to, or affecting respiration or the organs used in respiration
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 respiratory

1660s, from Modern Latin respiratorius or French respiratoire; see respiration + -ory.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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respiratory in Medicine

respiratory res·pi·ra·to·ry (rěs'pər-ə-tôr'ē, rĭ-spīr'ə-)
Of, relating to, used in, or affecting respiration.

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