from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To breathe in and out; inhale and exhale.
  • intransitive v. To undergo the metabolic process of respiration.
  • intransitive v. To breathe easily again, as after a period of exertion or trouble.
  • transitive v. To inhale and exhale (air); breathe.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To breathe in and out.
  • v. To engage in the process of respiration.
  • v. To recover one's breath or breathe easily following stress.
  • v. To inhale and exhale; to breathe.
  • n. Rest, respite.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To take breath again; hence, to take rest or refreshment.
  • intransitive v. To breathe; to inhale air into the lungs, and exhale it from them, successively, for the purpose of maintaining the vitality of the blood.
  • transitive v. To breathe in and out; to inspire and expire,, as air; to breathe.
  • transitive v. To breathe out; to exhale.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To breathe again; hence, to rest or enjoy relief after toil or suffering.
  • To breathe; inhale air into the lungs and exhale it, for the purpose of maintaining animal life; henee, to live.
  • To breathe in and out, as air; inhale and exhale; breathe.
  • To exhale; breathe out; send out in exhalations.

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

  • v. breathe easily again, as after exertion or anxiety
  • v. draw air into, and expel out of, the lungs
  • v. undergo the biomedical and metabolic processes of respiration by taking up oxygen and producing carbon monoxide


Middle English respiren, to breathe again, from Latin respīrāre : re-, re- + spīrāre, to breathe.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French respirer, from Latin respīrō, from re- + spīrō. (Wiktionary)



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