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 Speaking up would be self-respecting and could encourage the apnea sufferer to commit to seeking help. Lisa Strauss, Washington Post, 5 July 2024 According to the agency, many babies with whooping cough don't cough at all, but instead develop apnea, or life-threatening pauses in breathing. Gabe Hauari, USA TODAY, 5 June 2024 People who received placebos instead of the active drug did not see a clinically meaningful improvement in their apnea scores, the data showed. Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY, 17 Apr. 2024 The other Lilly trial involved about 200 people with obesity who used a CPAP machine and were encouraged to continue using it except for the assessments of their apnea episodes. Gina Kolata, New York Times, 17 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for apnea 

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 21 Jul. 2024.

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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