respiration Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun the metabolic processes whereby certain organisms obtain energy from organic molecules; processes that take place in the cells and tissues during which energy is released and carbon dioxide is produced and absorbed by the blood to be transported to the lungs
    internal respiration; cellular respiration.
  2. noun a single complete act of breathing in and out
    • thirty respirations per minute
  3. noun the bodily process of inhalation and exhalation; the process of taking in oxygen from inhaled air and releasing carbon dioxide by exhalation
    external respiration; breathing; ventilation.


Res`pi*ra"tion noun
L. respiratio: cf. F. respiration. See Respire.
  1. The act of respiring or breathing again, or catching one's breath.
  2. Relief from toil or suffering: rest. Obs.
    Till the day Appear of respiration to the just And vengeance to the wicked. Milton.
  3. Interval; intermission. Obs. Bp. Hall.
  4. (Physiol.) The act of resping or breathing; the act of taking in and giving out air; the aggregate of those processes bu which oxygen is introduced into the system, and carbon dioxide, or carbonic acid, removed. ✍ Respiration in the higher animals is divided into: (a) Internal respiration, or the interchange of oxygen and carbonic acid between the cells of the body and the bathing them, which in one sense is a process of nutrition. (b) External respiration, or the gaseous interchange taking place in the special respiratory organs, the lungs. This constitutes respiration proper. Gamgee. In the respiration of plants oxygen is likewise absorbed and carbonic acid exhaled, but in the light this process is obscured by another process which goes on with more vigor, in which the plant inhales and absorbs carbonic acid and exhales free oxygen.

Webster 1913