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[ap-nee-uh, ap-nee-uh] /ˈæp ni ə, æpˈni ə/
noun, Pathology
a temporary suspension of breathing, occurring in some newborns (infant apnea) and in some adults during sleep (sleep apnea)
Also, apnoea.
Origin of apnea
1710-20; < New Latin apnoea < Greek ápnoia, equivalent to ápno(os) breathless (a- a-6 + pno-, variant stem of pneîn to breathe + -os adj. suffix) + -ia -ia
Related forms
apneal, apneic, apnoeal, apnoeic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for apnea
  • Breathing that slows down or stops from any cause is called apnea.
  • apnea is breathing that slows down or stops from any cause.
  • Treatment for sleep apnea depends on the severity of the problem.
  • People with sleep apnea usually do not remember waking during the night.
  • Most patients with the syndrome have a form of sleep apnea.
  • Not much, if you've been tossing and turning at night due to sleep apnea.
  • Nevertheless, sleep apnea affects people of all ages.
  • For people suffering from sleep apnea, specialized breathing machines are the standard treatment.
  • Such systems also can treat sleep apnea, a common sleep disorder.
  • It also increases the risk for other sleep disorders, including sleep apnea and restless legs.
British Dictionary definitions for apnea


a temporary inability to breathe
Word Origin
C18: from New Latin, from Greek apnoia, from a-1 + pnein to breathe
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
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Word Origin and History for apnea

"suspension of breathing," also apnoea, 1719, Modern Latin, from Greek apnoia "absence of respiration," from apnos "without breathing," from a- "not" (see a- (3)) + pnein "to breathe" (see pneuma).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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apnea in Medicine

apnea ap·ne·a (āp'nē-ə, āp-nē'ə)
Temporary absence or cessation of breathing.

ap·ne'ic adj. & n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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apnea in Science
  (āp'nē-ə, āp-nē'ə)   
The temporary absence or cessation of breathing.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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