[res-per-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, ri-spahyuh r-uh-]


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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for respiratory

respiratory, panting, gasping

Examples from the Web for respiratory

Contemporary Examples of respiratory

Historical Examples of respiratory

  • 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.

  • 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


rarely respirational (ˌrɛspəˈreɪʃənəl)


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

Word Origin and History for respiratory

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

respiratory in Medicine


[rĕspər-ə-tôr′ē, rĭ-spīrə-]


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.