Origin of spirometer

First recorded in 1840–50; spiro-1 + -meter
Related formsspi·ro·met·ric [spahy-ruh-me-trik] /ˌspaɪ rəˈmɛ trɪk/, spi·ro·met·ri·cal, adjectivespi·rom·e·try, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for spirometer

Historical Examples of spirometer

  • Note: I would advise a spirometer for measuring the capacity of the lungs.

  • The spirometer, a useful but rather expensive little instrument, measures accurately lung capacity.

    The Boy's Voice

    J. Spencer Curwen

  • Hence, the spirometer directly measures the respiratory capacity, and only indirectly the pulmonary capacity.

    Pedagogical Anthropology

    Maria Montessori

  • The spirometer only registered 200 cubic inches instead of 260, which, according to Hutchinson's table, was his mean.

  • It will be found by occasional trials upon the spirometer that the breathing capacity increases with these exercises.

British Dictionary definitions for spirometer


  1. an instrument for measuring the air capacity of the lungsCompare pneumatometer
Derived Formsspirometric (ˌspaɪrəˈmɛtrɪk), adjectivespirometry, 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

Word Origin and History for spirometer

1846, formed irregularly from Latin spirare "to breathe" (see spirit (n.)) + -meter. Related: Spirometry.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

spirometer in Medicine


  1. An instrument for measuring the volume of air entering and leaving the lungs.
Related formsspi′ro•metric (-rə-mĕtrĭk) adj.spi•rome•try n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.