from The Century Dictionary.

  • Characterized by a deep snoring sound, such as characterizes the laborious breathing which frequently accompanies certain diseases, as apoplexy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Characterized by a deep snoring, which accompanies inspiration in some diseases, especially apoplexy; hence, hoarsely breathing; snoring.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Sounding like snoring or snorting.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective of breathing having a heavy snoring sound


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • Taurus Antinor's breath came in short, stertorous gasps, his throat was parched and his tongue clove to the roof of his mouth.

    "Unto Caesar" Emmuska Orczy Orczy 1906

  • Now his breathing was what doctors call stertorous, heavy and oppressed.

    Sail Ho! A Boy at Sea George Manville Fenn 1870

  • The last flask was opened, and we drank it between us, to the accompaniment of Scotty's stertorous breathing.

    Chapter 6 2010

  • His breathing was so stertorous we had a standing joke.

    Beard 2010

  • To begin with, his stertorous breathing fell just short of snoring.

    Shameless KAREN ROBARDS 2010

  • This was undeniably true; the monstrous orderly was lying on his face in the corner, breathing in ragged, stertorous snores.

    Sick Cycle Carousel 2010

  •  The night comes when she lays unconscious way past dinner time, and he's getting himself a snack when he realizes she is still sleeping, thinks about his meeting that night, thinks he will take her up a cup of tea and then hears the stertorous breathing and shakes her, and his trained hands tremble and almost fail him as he tries to jab the buttons on the phone.

    Addicts 2010

  • To begin with, his stertorous breathing fell just short of snoring.

    Shameless KAREN ROBARDS 2010

  • "No, not stertorous," reflects our narrator three pages in, remembering his ailing father, "rather wheezeful, softer, gulping, an immeasurably beautiful strange ancient fish glopping glooping groping rasping for air, at air …" But in this quest for literary uniqueness, there is too much calculation and coldness; something of the "love" needed to make it a full-blooded work of art is missing.

    Debut fiction: Quilt by Nicholas Royle; The Lost and Forgotten Languages of Shanghai by Ruiyan Xu; The World Beneath by Cate Kennedy 2010

  • In the past, it had always ended with Billy's orgasm, followed by detumescence, a poorly aimed kiss near the ear, a slipping away into stertorous sleep.

    Sympathy 2009


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  • "... while at his feet reposed a savage animal of the canine tribe whose stertorous gasps announced that he was sunk in uneasy slumber ..."

    Joyce, Ulysses, 12

    January 13, 2007

  • "A yearning for coffee spurred his vitals, and seeing that the decanters had made their last round untouched by his pink and somewhat stertorous guests he said aloud, 'Perhaps, gentlemen, we might join the ladies.'"

    --Patrick O'Brian, The Ionian Mission, 20

    February 11, 2008