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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for respirator


Examples from the Web for respirator

Contemporary Examples of respirator

Historical Examples of respirator

  • 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.

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

  • I could see a respirator off to my right, and a suction octopus near it.


    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

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

respirator in Medicine




A device that supplies oxygen or a mixture of oxygen and carbon dioxide for breathing, used especially in artificial respiration.inhalator ventilator
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.