or tach·yp·noe·a

[ tak-ip-nee-uh, tak-i-nee-uh ]
/ ˌtæk ɪpˈni ə, ˌtæk ɪˈni ə /
Save This Word!

noun Medicine/Medical.

excessively rapid respiration.



Are you aware how often people swap around “their,” “there,” and “they’re”? Prove you have more than a fair grasp over these commonly confused words.
Question 1 of 7
Which one of these commonly confused words can act as an adverb or a pronoun?

Origin of tachypnea

First recorded in 1895–1900; tachy- + -pnea


tach·yp·ne·ic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What does tachypneic mean?

Tachypneic is a medical term used to describe someone who has excessively rapid breathing.

Tachypneic is the adjective form of the noun tachypnea, which is a state of excessively rapid respiration (breathing). Tachypneic is a technical term typically used only in formal medical contexts.

Example: The school nurse determined that the student became tachypneic after having an asthma attack.

Where does tachypneic come from?

Tachypneic comes from tachypnea, which is a combination of tachy-, meaning “swift or rapid” (used in words like tachycardia), and pnea, meaning “breathing” or “respiration.” The first record of tachypneic comes from the late 1800s.

Medical professionals classify someone as tachypneic if they have a respiratory rate of more than 20 breaths per minute (the average resting respiratory rate for adults is between 12 and 20 breaths per minute). Common causes of tachypnea include asthma, pneumonia, anxiety, or even excessive exercise. Tachypnea is usually treated by treating the underlying cause.

A patient who is tachypneic is experiencing breathing that is rapid and shallow, whereas someone experiencing hyperventilation is breathing rapidly and deeply.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms of tachypneic?

  • tachypnea (noun)
  • tachypnoeic (adjective, British spelling)
  • tachypnoea (noun, British spelling)

What are some synonyms for tachypneic?

What are some words that share a root or word element with tachypneic


What are some words that often get used in discussing tachypneic?

How is tachypneic used in real life?

Tachypneic is typically used by medical professionals like doctors and nurses. It can also be seen in contexts when someone wants to use the more technical term for rapid breathing.



Try using tachypneic!

Is tachypneic used correctly in the following sentence?

When I complained that I was experiencing rapid breathing, the doctor said I had tachypneic.

Medical definitions for tachypnea

[ tăk′ĭp-nēə, tăk′ĭ-nēə ]


Rapid breathing.polypnea
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
See Today's Synonym