[stur-ter-uh s]


characterized by stertor or heavy snoring.
breathing in this manner.

Origin of stertorous

First recorded in 1795–1805; stertor + -ous
Related formsster·to·rous·ly, adverbster·to·rous·ness, nounpost·ster·to·rous, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for stertorous

Historical Examples of stertorous

  • There was something ominous about the spasmodic and stertorous breathing.

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

    Desert Dust

    Edwin L. Sabin

  • He seemed in a profound stupor, but there was no stertorous breathing.


    Kate Douglas Wiggin

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

    Gold in the Sky

    Alan Edward Nourse

  • Anne shook him, but he did not awake, his breathing being slow and stertorous.

    The Trumpet-Major

    Thomas Hardy

British Dictionary definitions for stertorous



marked or accompanied by heavy snoring
breathing in this way
Derived Formsstertorously, adverbstertorousness, 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 stertorous

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper