res·​pi·​ra·​tor | \ ˈre-spə-ˌrā-tər How to pronounce respirator (audio) \

Definition of respirator

1 : a device worn over the mouth and nose to protect the respiratory tract by filtering out dangerous substances (such as dusts or fumes) from inhaled air
2 : a device for maintaining artificial respiration

Examples of respirator in a Sentence

The doctors put her on a respirator.

Recent Examples on the Web

Put on a dual-cartridge respirator and scrape a small amount of popcorn off the ceiling and into a resealable plastic bag. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How to Remove a Popcorn Ceiling," 25 Jan. 2019 Face masks can block many large droplets, while N95 respirators are designed to obstruct the passage of those very small airborne particles that can lead to illness, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Colleen Stinchcombe, SELF, "Here’s How Far Germs Spread Through Sneezing and Coughing," 13 Feb. 2019 Local children ride Razor scooters wearing N95 respirators. Umair Irfan, Vox, "The Paradise fire is catastrophic. And the wildfire threat to California is only growing.," 17 Nov. 2018 Garcia writes in his report that the oil is thick enough that people need to wear respirators because of fumes. Jeff Amy, The Seattle Times, "Federal lawyers: Gulf oil leak spills much more than thought," 17 Sep. 2018 Photos published by the prosecutor’s office show firefighters in respirators and other workers in anti-contamination suits examining gas lines. Alex Horton, Washington Post, "Iowa family found dead in Mexico likely inhaled toxic gas from water heater, official says," 26 Mar. 2018 The air quality is so bad that cities are handing out respirator masks. Christianna Silva, Teen Vogue, "California's Fires Lead to School Closings, Poor Air Quality, and Public Service Shutdowns as Death Toll Climbs," 16 Nov. 2018 Remember to wear your cartridge respirator doing this work. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "How to Get Rid of Bedbugs Once and For All," 6 Nov. 2018 Mask Oakland is a group that aims to provide N95 respirators (equipment to protect people from toxic air particles) to homeless communities in Oakland. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "How to Help People Affected by California Wildfires," 12 Nov. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of respirator

1836, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about respirator

Statistics for respirator

Last Updated

10 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for respirator

The first known use of respirator was in 1836

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for respirator



English Language Learners Definition of respirator

: a device that you wear over your mouth and nose so that you can breathe when there is a lot of dust, smoke, etc., in the air
medical : a device that helps people to breathe when they are not able to breathe naturally


res·​pi·​ra·​tor | \ ˈre-spə-ˌrā-tər How to pronounce respirator (audio) \

Kids Definition of respirator

1 : a device covering the mouth or nose especially to prevent the breathing in of harmful substances (as dust or fumes)
2 : a device used for helping a person to breathe


res·​pi·​ra·​tor | \ ˈres-pə-ˌrāt-ər How to pronounce respirator (audio) \

Medical Definition of respirator

1 : a device (as a gas mask) worn over the mouth and nose to protect the respiratory system by filtering out dangerous substances (as dust or fumes) from inhaled air
2 : a device for maintaining artificial respiration a mechanical respirator

called also ventilator

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on respirator

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with respirator

Spanish Central: Translation of respirator

Nglish: Translation of respirator for Spanish Speakers

Comments on respirator

What made you want to look up respirator? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


likely to have or produce good results

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!