Medical Definition of Respiratory rate
Respiratory rate: The number of breaths per minute or, more formally, the number of movements indicative of inspiration and expiration per unit time. In practice, the respiratory rate is usually determined by counting the number of times the chest rises or falls per minute. The aim of measuring respiratory rate is to determine whether the respirations are
normal, abnormally fast (tachypnea), abnormally slow (bradypnea), or nonexistent (apnea).
Last Editorial Review: 5/13/2016