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[stur-ter-uh s] /ˈstɜr tər əs/
characterized by stertor or heavy snoring.
breathing in this manner.
Origin of stertorous
First recorded in 1795-1805; stertor + -ous
Related forms
stertorously, adverb
stertorousness, noun
poststertorous, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for stertorous
Historical Examples
  • As a rule he was a stertorous breather, and when first they were married Hetty could scarcely sleep with his snoring.

  • With that enigmatical comment he was silent save for stertorous breathing.

    Desert Dust Edwin L. Sabin
  • His stertorous breathing was the only sound in the room, intolerable in its monotony.

    Mohawks, Volume 3 of 3 Mary Elizabeth Braddon
  • He seemed in a profound stupor, but there was no stertorous breathing.

    Ladies-In-Waiting Kate Douglas Wiggin
  • A series of low, stertorous growls followed, growls that made my blood run cold!

    Uncanny Tales Various
  • The only sound was the stertorous breathing of the unconscious guard.

    Gold in the Sky Alan Edward Nourse
  • Insensibility, stertorous breathing, lividity of face and body, and death from asphyxia.

    Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology W. G. Aitchison Robertson
  • There was something ominous about the spasmodic and stertorous breathing.

  • The lurid glare dies down; stertorous night resumes her sway o'er the living and the dead.

    The Challenge of the Dead Stephen Graham
  • The only evidence of life about him was the sound of stertorous breathing.

British Dictionary definitions for stertorous


marked or accompanied by heavy snoring
breathing in this way
Derived Forms
stertorously, adverb
stertorousness, noun
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 stertorous

1802, from Modern Latin stertor (from Latin stertere "to snore") + -ous.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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