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[res-puh-rey-ter] /ˈrɛs pəˌreɪ tər/
a masklike device, usually of gauze, worn over the mouth, or nose and mouth, to prevent the inhalation of noxious substances or the like.
British, gas mask.
Medicine/Medical. an apparatus to produce artificial respiration.
Origin of respirator
1785-95; < Latin respīrāt(us) (see respiration) + -or2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for respirator
  • Since the treatment necessitated inserting a respirator, the medical staff placed me in a drug induced coma.
  • He quickly went down to inspect the damage, wearing a respirator as the tunnel had filled with helium gas.
  • There is already a name of a disease the cleanup workers are getting, and bp tells them they are fired if they wear a respirator.
  • He was on a respirator for weeks to help his breathing.
  • His body fluids are backed up, and he has been on and off a respirator.
  • Shivering actually heats the body, so patients needed to be immobilized and put on a respirator.
  • All doctors can offer is what they call supportive care: treating symptoms, putting the patient on a respirator.
  • Make sure you have a quality respirator, and maybe some anti-nausea medicine.
  • And he can survive for up to two hours off his respirator.
  • respirator manufacturers frequently provide recommendations on the proper use for their particular products.
British Dictionary definitions for respirator


an apparatus for providing long-term artificial respiration
Also called gas mask. a device worn over the mouth and nose to prevent inhalation of noxious fumes or to warm cold air before it is breathed
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 respirator

1836, as an aid to breathing (originally a sort of gauze mask, agent noun from respire. As "machine to provide artificial respiration" from 1929.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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respirator in Medicine

respirator res·pi·ra·tor (rěs'pə-rā'tər)

  1. A device that supplies oxygen or a mixture of oxygen and carbon dioxide for breathing, used especially in artificial respiration. Also called inhalator.

  2. A screenlike device worn over the mouth or nose or both to protect the respiratory tract.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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