To respire is to breathe in and out. After a calf is born, a farmer might watch it respire for a while to make sure it's okay.

  • Pronunciation: /rɪ'spaɪɚ/
  • English description:  draw air into, and expel out of, the lungs
  • Synonyms: breathe
  • Chinese Translation:  呼吸(hu1 xi1)
  • Spanish Translation: respirar
  • ORIGIN: While you can use the verb respire simply to mean "breathe," it's most often used in a medical or scientific context. A nurse might worry about the rate at which a patient respires, and a biologist might discuss the way a plant respires at night, when light doesn't reach its leaves. The Latin root, respirare, means "breathe again" or "breathe in and out," from re-, "again," and spirare, "to breathe."


  • When the algae die, they are eaten by bacteria that release carbon dioxide into the water as they respire.
  • They breathe with gills, so they need moisture in order to respire.

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