Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Best Internet Slang

breathless

[breth-lis] /ˈbrɛθ lɪs/
adjective
1.
without breath or breathing with difficulty; gasping; panting:
We were breathless after the steep climb.
2.
with the breath held, as in suspense, astonishment, fear, or the like:
breathless listeners of the mystery story.
3.
causing loss of breath, as from excitement, anticipation, or tension:
a breathless ride.
4.
dead; lifeless.
5.
motionless or still, as air without a breeze:
a breathless summer day.
Origin of breathless
1350-1400
First recorded in 1350-1400, breathless is from the Middle English word brethles. See breath, -less
Related forms
breathlessly, adverb
breathlessness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for breathless
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is only the true lover to whom the breathing form is as sacred as the breathless.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • There was a sort of breathless touch in the air of the room.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • Kitty dropped on the floor at Helen's feet; the hush in the room was breathless.

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
  • A crowd of silent men had gathered about the box in a breathless wait.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • The Countess, breathless from dancing, burst in upon the little group.

    Chip, of the Flying U B. M. Bower
British Dictionary definitions for breathless

breathless

/ˈbrɛθlɪs/
adjective
1.
out of breath; gasping, etc
2.
holding one's breath or having it taken away by excitement, etc: a breathless confrontation
3.
(esp of the atmosphere) motionless and stifling
4.
(rare) lifeless; dead
Derived Forms
breathlessly, adverb
breathlessness, noun
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for breathless
adj.

late 14c., "unable to breathe," from breath + -less. Meaning "out of breath, panting" is from mid-15c. Used from 1590s in the sense "dead." Meaning "forgetting to breathe due to excitement, awe, anticipation, etc." is recorded from 1802. Related: Breathlessly; breathlessness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for breathless

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for breathless

15
16
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for breathless