- a pause, as for breath.
- vigorous exercise that causes heavy breathing.
- a person who breathes.
- a vent in a container or covering, as in a casing for machinery or in a storage tank, to equalize interior and exterior pressure, permit entry of air, escape of fumes, or the like.
- a device for providing air from the atmosphere to submerged or otherwise sealed-off persons, internal-combustion engines, etc.: the snorkel breather of a submarine.
Origin of breather
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for breather
Pleased with the two versions of “San Quentin,” Cash took a breather while Carl Perkins entertained the crowd.Excerpts From a New Johnny Cash Biography Capture His Iconoclastic Genius
October 26, 2013
The writers definitely picked the wrong week to give Richard Harrow (Jack Huston) a breather.‘Breaking Bad’ Finale, ‘Homeland’ Premiere: How to Survive DVRmageddon
September 29, 2013
Allow yourself to bask in the glory of scored achievements, taking a breather from attacking new goals.What the Stars Hold for Your Week
Starsky + Cox
July 8, 2011
GEMINI Mercury grinding to retrograde by Wednesday gives you a breather.Horoscopes: The Week of March 27
Starsky + Cox
March 26, 2011
I catch up with Kent again as he takes a breather from the tour, back at his flat in St John's Wood, North-West London.A Play's Political Game
November 29, 2010
I'm goin' to take a breather for a few days an' lay again' 'em next week.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
The guests at the big table were leaning back in their chairs taking a breather.L'Assommoir
Mrs. Cowdery is essentially a breather and a bringer of peace.Adventures in the Arts
I said to Miss White, who was taking a breather at the hall door.Happy Days
Alan Alexander Milne
"I take what you call a breather," answered the man stolidly.A Mating in the Wilds
- informal a short pause for rest
- a person who breathes in a specified waya deep breather
- a vent in a container to equalize internal and external pressure, such as the pipe in the crankcase of an internal-combustion engine
- a small opening in a room, container, cover, etc, supplying air for ventilation
Word Origin and History for breather
c.1600, "a living creature, one who breathes," agent noun from breathe. Meaning "spell of exercise to stimulate breathing" is from 1836; that of "a rest to recover breath" is from 1901.