late 14c., respiracioun, "act or process of breathing, inhalation and exhalation of air by the lungs," from Latin respirationem (nominative respiratio) "breathing, respiration," noun of action from past-participle stem of respirare "breathe again, breathe in and out," from re- "again" (see re-) + spirare "to breathe" (see spirit (n.)). Extended to plants by 1831. Milton used it for "act of returning to life" ("breathing again").
"air hole," 1610s, from Latin spiraculum "breathing hole," from spirare "to breathe" (see spirit (n.)). Related: Spiracular.
late 14c., aspiracioun, "a spirant;" 1530s as "action of breathing into," from Latin aspirationem (nominative aspiratio) "a breathing on, a blowing upon; rough breathing; influence," noun of action from past-participle stem of aspirare "strive for, seek to reach," literally "breathe at, blow upon" (see aspire). The meaning "steadfast longing for a higher goal, earnest desire for something above one" is recorded from c. 1600 (sometimes collectively, as aspirations).
"miraculous communication of supernatural knowledge or power," 1660s, from Latin afflatus "a breathing upon, blast," figuratively "inspiration," noun use of past participle of afflare "to blow upon," from ad "to" (see ad-) + flare "to blow" (from PIE root *bhle- "to blow"). The literal meaning "a blowing or breathing upon" is rare in English, this sense being taken by afflation.