- the air inhaled and exhaled in respiration.
- respiration, especially as necessary to life.
- life; vitality.
- the ability to breathe easily and normally: She stopped to regain her breath.
- time to breathe; pause or respite: Give him a little breath.
- a single inhalation or respiration: He took a deep breath.
- the brief time required for a single respiration; a moment or instant: They gave it to her and took it away all in a breath.
- a slight suggestion, hint, or whisper: The breath of slander never touched her.
- a light current of air.
- the air drawn into or expelled from the lungs to provide the generative source for most speech sounds.
- the audible expiration generating voiceless speech sounds, as (p), (k), (sh), etc.
- moisture emitted in respiration, especially when condensed and visible.
- a trivial circumstance; trifle.
- an odorous exhalation, or the air impregnated by it.
- Obsolete. exhalation or vapor.
- below/under one's breath, in a low voice or whisper; sotto voce: He protested under his breath because he was afraid to speak up.
- catch one's breath, to pause or rest before continuing an activity or beginning a new one; resume regular breathing: Let me catch my breath before I begin anything new.
- in the same breath, at virtually the same time; almost simultaneously: She lost her temper and apologized in the same breath.
- out of breath, exhausted or gasping for breath, in consequence of an effort; breathless: After climbing to the top of the tower, we were so out of breath that we had to sit down.
- save one's breath, to avoid futile talk or discussion: We were told to save our breath because the matter had already been decided.
- take away one's breath, to make one as if breathless with astonishment; surprise; stun: The sheer beauty of the sea took away my breath.Also take one's breath away.
Origin of breath
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for breaths
Gov. Richardson and I held our breaths, but kept our minds open and our hopes intact.Ping-Pong Diplomacy Not An Option? Try Ding-Dong Diplomacy
January 12, 2014
They grunted and swore under their breaths as they slumped back into their seats.The National-Security Diaper Scramble
April 25, 2013
Rather, breaths all around me were wasted on rounds of hushed laughs and snickering.My Strange Passage From Suspected School Shooter to Prom Queen
January 28, 2013
Stay here for 10 breaths, or until the restroom has opened up.8 Ways to Exercise While You Commute
February 18, 2010
The witnesses gawked in horror and fascination and held their breaths.John Grisham's First Short Story: Part Two
October 26, 2009
Then, in two breaths: "Can't do it," he decided; "not at the price."The Black Bag
Louis Joseph Vance
The crew held their breaths as if the apparition might vanish as suddenly as it appeared.
The crew in the little boat stared at it, holding their breaths.
She ain't caught more than two breaths in the last minute and a half.Cap'n Dan's Daughter
Joseph C. Lincoln
Boys looked straight in front of them and held their breaths.Tom, Dick and Harry
Talbot Baines Reed
- the intake and expulsion of air during respiration
- the air inhaled or exhaled during respiration
- a single respiration or inhalation of air, etc
- the vapour, heat, or odour of exhaled airhis breath on the window melted the frost
- a slight gust of air
- a short pause or resttake a breath for five minutes
- a brief timeit was done in a breath
- a suggestion or slight evidence; suspiciona breath of scandal
- a whisper or soft sound
- life, energy, or vitalitythe breath of new industry
- phonetics the passage of air through the completely open glottis without vibration of the vocal cords, as in exhaling or pronouncing fricatives such as (f) or (h) or stops such as (p) or (k)Compare voice (def. 11)
- a breath of fresh air a refreshing change from what one is used to
- catch one's breath to rest until breathing is normal, esp after exertion
- hold one's breath to wait expectantly or anxiously
- in the same breath done or said at the same time
- out of breath gasping for air after exertion
- save one's breath to refrain from useless talk
- take one's breath away to overwhelm with surprise, etc
- under one's breath or below one's breath in a quiet voice or whisper
Word Origin and History for breaths
Old English bræð "odor, scent, stink, exhalation, vapor" (Old English word for "air exhaled from the lungs" was æðm), from Proto-Germanic *bræthaz "smell, exhalation" (cf. Old High German bradam, German Brodem "breath, steam"), from PIE root *gwhre- "to breathe, smell."
- The air inhaled and exhaled in respiration.
- A single respiration.
Idioms and Phrases with breaths
In addition to the idiom beginning with breath
- breathe down someone's neck
- breathe easy
- breathe life into
- breathe one's last
- breathing space
- breath of fresh air