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breathing space

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noun
  1. Also called breathing spell. an opportunity to rest or think.
  2. sufficient space in which to move, work, etc.: The train was so crowded that there was hardly breathing space.

Origin of breathing space

First recorded in 1640–50
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for breathing space

breathing space

noun
  1. enough area to permit freedom of movementthe country gives us some breathing space
  2. a pause for rest, etca coffee break was their only breathing space
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with breathing space

breathing space

1

Room or time in which to breathe, as in In that crowded hall, there was hardly any breathing space. Previously this term was put as breathing room. [Mid-1600s]

2

A rest or pause. For example, I can't work at this all day; I need some breathing space. This usage replaced the earlier breathing while. [Mid-1600s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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