Definition of respire in English:

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Pronunciation: /rɪˈspʌɪə/


[no object]
1Breathe: he lay back, respiring deeply [with object]: a country where fresh air seems impossible to respire
More example sentences
  • Those patients randomized to respire supplemental oxygen during exercise training succeeded in training at higher training intensities than those respiring supplemental air.
  • We do not say that an egg is alive but the creature in the egg is alive in the same way the baby in the womb is alive. For the foetus to be alive it would have to be able to respire, produce young, respond to stimuli, grow, move and urinate.
  • They continue to respire through their lungs (their mouths not being covered by cocoon), though their metabolic rate is greatly reduced.
1.1(Of a plant) carry out respiration, especially at night when photosynthesis has ceased: lichens respire at lower levels of temperature and moisture
More example sentences
  • The whole plant respired 59% of photosynthates in the growing period.
  • Cutting hay late in the day forces plant cells to respire all night long, losing yield and quality.
  • Vines respire more sugar at high temperatures for their normal metabolism, but do not photosynthesize any faster; they therefore need more sunlight hours to generate a sugar surplus for ripening the fruit.
2 archaic Recover hope, courage, or strength after a time of difficulty: the archduke, newly respiring from so long a war
More example sentences
  • Italy was at last respiring from "the deadly wounds" inflicted upon her for so many years.


Late Middle English: from Old French respirer or Latin respirare 'breathe out', from re- 'again' + spirare 'breathe'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: re|spire

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