verb (used without object), re·spired, re·spir·ing.

  1. to inhale and exhale air for the purpose of maintaining life; breathe.
  2. to breathe freely again, after anxiety, trouble, etc.

verb (used with object), re·spired, re·spir·ing.

  1. to breathe; inhale and exhale.
  2. to exhale.


  1. to inhale and exhale (air); breathe
  2. (intr) to undergo the process of respiration
  3. literary to breathe again in a relaxed or easy manner, as after stress or exertion

late 14c., from Old French respirer (12c.), from Latin respirare “breathe again, breathe in and out,” from re- “again” (see re-) + spirare “to breathe” (see spirit (n.)). Related: Respired; respiring.


  1. To breathe in and out; inhale and exhale.
  2. To undergo the metabolic process of respiration.
  3. To breathe easily again, as after a period of exertion.

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