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[ri-spahyuh r] /rɪˈspaɪər/
verb (used without object), respired, respiring.
to inhale and exhale air for the purpose of maintaining life; breathe.
to breathe freely again, after anxiety, trouble, etc.
verb (used with object), respired, respiring.
to breathe; inhale and exhale.
to exhale.
Origin of respire
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English respiren < Latin respīrāre, equivalent to re- re- + spīrāre to breathe; see spirit
Related forms
prerespire, verb (used with object), prerespired, prerespiring.
unrespired, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for respire
Historical Examples
  • Bathe your forehead in its breath, and respire with its penetrating odors the forgetfulness of your sufferings.

  • It appears to respire as easily in the most rarefied air as on the seashore.

    The Western World W.H.G. Kingston
  • Do you not remember that you ceased to respire, and were not conscious of the fact?

  • Are you willing that the tempter should intercept it, and respire it polluted into your ear?

    Imaginary Conversations and Poems Walter Savage Landor
  • At their birth they respire by means of gills, and consequently resemble fishes.

    Reptiles and Birds Louis Figuier
  • He laughed, and seemed to respire more air into his broad chest.

    Cinq Mars, Complete Alfred de Vigny
  • Many children sneeze before they respire, but not all, as far as I have observed, or can learn from others.

    Zoonomia, Vol. I Erasmus Darwin
  • The Crustaceans, so far as they are aquatic, respire by means of branchi, or gills.

    The Ocean World: Louis Figuier
  • There was in the room an intermittent positive pressure breathing apparatus, which can be used to respire for a patient.

    Warren Commission (6 of 26): Hearings Vol. VI (of 15) The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
  • Its breath was too powerful for any one breast to respire it solely.

    History of the Girondists, Volume I Alphonse de Lamartine
British Dictionary definitions for respire


to inhale and exhale (air); breathe
(intransitive) to undergo the process of respiration
(literary) to breathe again in a relaxed or easy manner, as after stress or exertion
Word Origin
C14: from Latin rēspīrāre to exhale, from re- + spīrāre to breathe; see spirit1
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 respire

late 14c., from Old French respirer (12c.), from Latin respirare "breathe again, breathe in and out," from re- "again" (see re-) + spirare "to breathe" (see spirit (n.)). Related: Respired; respiring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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respire in Medicine

respire re·spire (rĭ-spīr')
v. re·spired, re·spir·ing, re·spires

  1. To breathe in and out; inhale and exhale.

  2. To undergo the metabolic process of respiration.

  3. To breathe easily again, as after a period of exertion.

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