hyperventilate

verb
hy·​per·​ven·​ti·​late | \ ˌhī-pər-ˈven-tə-ˌlāt How to pronounce hyperventilate (audio) \
hyperventilated; hyperventilating; hyperventilates

Definition of hyperventilate

intransitive verb

: to breathe rapidly and deeply : undergo hyperventilation

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Synonyms for hyperventilate

Synonyms

blow, gasp, heave, pant, puff, wheeze

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Did You Know?

Hyperventilating can be a response to fear and anxiety. A test pilot who panics and hyperventilates faces a dangerous situation. When the level of carbon dioxide in your blood goes down and the oxygen level goes up, blood vessels constrict because of the chemical changes and the body can't get enough oxygen (even though it's there in the blood), and the pilot can become lightheaded and may even faint. To guard against this, pilots are taught to control their breathing. On the ground, the usual remedy for hyperventilation is breathing into a paper bag, which raises the level of carbon dioxide and restores normal breathing.

Examples of hyperventilate in a Sentence

The boy panicked and began hyperventilating. he was so nervous he began hyperventilating, and the extra oxygen made him dizzy

Recent Examples on the Web

HBO Game of Thrones fans, begin hyperventilating now: The first two episodes of the last season will be shorter than 60 minutes, Entertainment Weekly reports. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "There's More Bad News for 'Game of Thrones' Fans—And This Time, It's the Episode Length," 14 Mar. 2019 But there’s another way of thinking about the Lakers that doesn’t require hyperventilating every second of every day of the NBA season. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "Buy Low on LeBron James and the Lakers," 15 Feb. 2019 In 2013, Ben Schmidt, an assistant professor of history at Northeastern University, argued that the media was hyperventilating about the humanities crisis. Katherine Long, The Seattle Times, "STEM majors way up, humanities down, among Washington college students, new data show," 13 Aug. 2018 Among the impressive lineup that night was a Pulitzer Prize winner, a poet laureate, and some dude from Long Island trying not to hyperventilate. J. Bryan Mcgeever, New York Times, "Empathy From a Pro," 8 Mar. 2018 The president’s sycophants are already comparing the Singapore summit to Richard Nixon’s 1972 visit to China and hyperventilating about Trump ending the Cold War. Jonah Shepp, Daily Intelligencer, "The Trump-Kim Summit Was a Great Photo Op, And Maybe Nothing More," 12 June 2018 Hiaasen was known for his love of James Taylor, and used to tell a story about nearly hyperventilating during an interview with the singer-songwriter. Jean Marbella, baltimoresun.com, "Capital Gazette editor Rob Hiaasen identified as victim of shooting at newspaper," 29 June 2018 As O’Leary’s news sank in, Palomba began to hyperventilate, and everything in her head felt jumbled. Ruth Padawer, New York Times, "Should Statutes of Limitations for Rape Be Abolished?," 19 June 2018 In one scene Maisie freezes and hyperventilates, her eyes wide open, as Lex did when faced with raptors. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "We’re Going to Need a Bigger Island," 22 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hyperventilate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hyperventilate

1931, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for hyperventilate

Last Updated

28 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hyperventilate

The first known use of hyperventilate was in 1931

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More Definitions for hyperventilate

hyperventilate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of hyperventilate

: to breathe very quickly and deeply

hyperventilate

verb
hy·​per·​ven·​ti·​late | \ ˌhī-pər-ˈven-tə-ˌlāt How to pronounce hyperventilate (audio) \
hyperventilated; hyperventilating

Kids Definition of hyperventilate

: to breathe very quickly and deeply

hyperventilate

verb
hy·​per·​ven·​ti·​late | \ -ˈvent-ᵊl-ˌāt How to pronounce hyperventilate (audio) \
hyperventilated; hyperventilating

Medical Definition of hyperventilate

intransitive verb

: to breathe rapidly and deeply : undergo hyperventilation some swimmers hyperventilate

transitive verb

: to subject to hyperventilation he hyperventilated his lungs by deep breathing

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