oxygen debt

noun

: a cumulative deficit of oxygen available for oxidative metabolism that develops during periods of intense bodily activity and must be made good when the body returns to rest

Examples of oxygen debt in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Getting hard-core exercise is the most important part—driving myself to the brink of oxygen debt on an elliptical machine to jack my endorphins up to battle against everything that’s coming. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, 13 Dec. 2023 And pity the fool who goes out too hard, which is a bad idea in any kind of racing but can result in severe oxygen debt at altitude in snowshoes. John Meyer, The Know, 18 Feb. 2020 But what a beautiful place to run into severe oxygen debt. John Meyer, The Know, 28 Feb. 2020

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

Word History

First Known Use

1923, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of oxygen debt was in 1923

Dictionary Entries Near oxygen debt

Cite this Entry

“Oxygen debt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oxygen%20debt. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

oxygen debt

noun
: a lack of oxygen that develops in the body during periods of intense activity and must be made good when the body returns to rest

Medical Definition

oxygen debt

noun
: a cumulative deficit of oxygen available for oxidative metabolism that develops during periods of intense bodily activity and must be made good when the body returns to rest
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