ap·​nea ˈap-nē-ə How to pronounce apnea (audio)
: transient cessation of respiration
especially : sleep apnea

Examples of apnea in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Why having a pet can take a toll on your sleep Sleep apnea linked to cognitive problems even in otherwise healthy men. Linda Carroll, NBC News, 11 Sep. 2023 Hydrogen sulfide gas can cause irritation to the eyes and respiratory system, apnea, coma, convulsions, dizziness, headache, weakness, irritability, insomnia and stomach upset, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Aliza Chasan, CBS News, 10 Aug. 2023 In the Biosphere, people struggled to climb stairs and to stay asleep without apnea waking them up. Sarah Scoles, Scientific American, 10 July 2023 Common signs of apnea include restless sleep, loud snoring, and feeling tired during the day. Emma Obregón Dominguez, BostonGlobe.com, 7 July 2023 Also known as apnea, breath holding, or skin diving, freediving is the act of holding one’s breath underwater without a breathing apparatus. Women's Health, 31 July 2023 Motivation is key for behavioral modification, which is the first of three treatment options—followed by devices and medications—that urologists like Rhee will try once causes like legitimate sleep disorders such as apnea are off the table. Haley Weiss, Time, 24 July 2023 One patient has known about their apnea issues since at least 2008—President Joe Biden. Andrew Paul, Popular Science, 29 June 2023 Read full article While apnea is a serious sleep disorder, it is easily treated, experts said. Emma Obregón Dominguez, BostonGlobe.com, 7 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'apnea.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin, from a- + -pnea

First Known Use

circa 1719, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of apnea was circa 1719

Dictionary Entries Near apnea

Cite this Entry

“Apnea.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/apnea. Accessed 30 Sep. 2023.

Medical Definition


variants or chiefly British apnoea
: transient cessation of respiration whether normal (as in hibernating animals) or abnormal (as that caused by certain drugs) see sleep apnea
apneic adjective
or chiefly British apnoeic

More from Merriam-Webster on apnea

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