Etymology
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respirator (n.)

1836, "an aid to breathing," originally a sort of metallic gauze mask fitted to the face by a wire frame and meant to keep out smoke, dust, and especially cold air; agent noun from respire. The word was later used of gas masks in World War I. As "machine to provide artificial respiration" from 1929.

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Definitions of respirator

respirator (n.)
a breathing device for administering long-term artificial respiration;
Synonyms: inhalator
respirator (n.)
a protective mask with a filter; protects the face and lungs against poisonous gases;
Synonyms: gasmask / gas helmet
From wordnet.princeton.edu