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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for respiratory
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I must return to this subject in connection with the respiratory function.

    Medical Essays Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  • He then, with a stethoscope, ausculated the lungs, or listened to the respiratory sounds.

    Doctor Jones' Picnic S. E. Chapman
  • It had respiratory organs—that was evident by its breathing.

    A Stable for Nightmares J. Sheridan Le Fanu
  • It was a long time before my respiratory organs could be brought into play.

    Rattlin the Reefer Edward Howard
  • These are the openings into the tracheal or respiratory system.

    Insects and Diseases Rennie W. Doane
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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