res·​pi·​ra·​tor | \ˈre-spə-ˌrā-tər \

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

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 Photos published by the prosecutor's office show firemen in respirators and other authorities in anti-contamination suits examining gas connections and the unit's oven. The Washington Post,, "American family of 4 were killed by gas inhalation, Mexican officials say," 25 Mar. 2018 Other footage showed chaotic clinics where medics were hosing down patients and treating them with respirators. Ben Hubbard And Hwaida Saad, New York Times, "Poison Gas Attack Reported by Syrian Anti-Government Activists," 7 Apr. 2018 The verdict form says the 3M respirator was defective and unreasonably dangerous. Fox News, "Jury awards $67M to ex-miners who used defective dust masks," 26 Apr. 2018 But a statue of Mohandas Gandhi in a Delhi park seemed girded for the struggle ahead: Antipollution campaigners had fitted the mahatma with a respirator mask. Brook Larmer, New York Times, "What Does It Take to Stop Accepting Pollution as the Price of Progress?," 23 Jan. 2018 In addition to the gun and ammo, police found a respirator, two cans of black spray paint, gloves, black tape, electric cords, two first aid kits and a handwritten note. Alexis Stevens, ajc, "No federal prison for Georgia man who brought gun, ammo into theater," 23 June 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.

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First Known Use of respirator

1836, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

15 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for respirator

The first known use of respirator was in 1836

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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 \

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 \

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

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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

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a knickknack or trinket

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