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[pur-spuh-rey-shuh n] /ˈpɜr spəˈreɪ ʃən/
a salty, watery fluid secreted by the sweat glands of the skin, especially when very warm as a result of strenuous exertion; sweat.
the act or process of perspiring.
Origin of perspiration
1605-15, in sense “a breathing through”; 1620-30 for current senses; < New Latin perspīrātiōn- (stem of perspīrātiō) imperceptible sweating, literally, a breathing through. See perspire, -ation
1. Perspiration, sweat refer primarily to moisture exuded by animals and people from the pores of the skin. Perspiration is often regarded as the more polite word, and is often used overfastidiously by those who consider sweat coarse; but sweat is a strong word and in some cases obviously more appropriate: a light perspiration; the sweat of his brow. Sweat is always used when referring to animals or objects: Sweat drips from a horse's flanks. It may also be used metaphorically of objects: Sweat forms on apples after they are gathered. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for perspiration
  • He has such an air of desperation and such a quaintly unlovely face, which is generally dripping perspiration.
  • The saliva on a smoked cigarette or the perspiration on a baseball cap may be enough.
  • It is the same as fever and ague, only that the fever is not preceded by a chill or followed by perspiration.
  • Your stomach isn't there, and your mouth is dry, and your hands are wet with perspiration.
  • They withstood the perspiration and the rough packing with aplomb.
  • Salt tablets were thought to help retain water or to restore salts lost through perspiration.
  • The letter claims that inhibiting perspiration causes harmful substances to be trapped in the body where they form cancer.
  • After an hour of listening, my ears were a little sore and coated with a thin film of perspiration.
  • The sun was high, and there was a sheen of perspiration on horse and rider.
  • Microporous membranes keep water from penetrating the fabric, yet allow perspiration to escape so you stay dry.
British Dictionary definitions for perspiration


the act or process of insensibly eliminating fluid through the pores of the skin, which evaporates immediately
the sensible elimination of fluid through the pores of the skin, which is visible as droplets on the skin
the salty fluid secreted through the pores of the skin; sweat
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 perspiration

1610s, from French perspiration (1560s), noun of action from perspirer "perspire," from Latin perspirare "blow or breathe constantly," from per- "through" (see per) + spirare "to breathe, blow" (see spirit (n.)). Applied to excretion of invisible moistures through the skin (1620s), hence used as a euphemism for "sweat" from 1725.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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perspiration in Medicine

perspiration per·spi·ra·tion (pûr'spə-rā'shən)

  1. The fluid, consisting of water with small amounts of urea and salts, that is excreted through the pores of the skin by the sweat glands.

  2. The act or process of excreting this fluid through the pores of the skin.

per·spir'a·to'ry (pər-spīr'ə-tôr'ē, pûr'spər-ə-) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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