Skip to Content


Pronunciation: res'pi-ra'shun

Definition: A fundamental process of life, characteristic of both plants and animals, in which oxygen is used to oxidize organic fuel molecules, providing a source of energy as well as carbon dioxide and water. In green plants, photosynthesis is not considered respiration

Synonym(s): ventilation2

[L. respiratio, fr. respiro, pp. -atus, to exhale, breathe]

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.