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respiration (n.)

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").

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Definitions of respiration from WordNet

respiration (n.)
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;
Synonyms: internal respiration / cellular respiration
respiration (n.)
a single complete act of breathing in and out;
thirty respirations per minute
respiration (n.)
the bodily process of inhalation and exhalation; the process of taking in oxygen from inhaled air and releasing carbon dioxide by exhalation;
Synonyms: breathing / external respiration / ventilation
From wordnet.princeton.edu