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[breth-ee] /ˈbrɛθ i/
adjective, breathier, breathiest.
(of the voice) characterized by audible or excessive emission of breath.
Origin of breathy
First recorded in 1520-30; breath + -y1
Related forms
breathiness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for breathy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The big man's voice had reached the high, breathy pitch of a fife.

    Out Like a Light Gordon Randall Garrett
  • His tones are forced, harsh, and breathy; they lack musical quality.

    The Psychology of Singing

    David C. Taylor
  • But, this time, the monosyllable was breathy, and not sharp.

    The Brentons Anna Chapin Ray
  • This to a brief, blunt block of child who made some breathy noise.

    Wilderness of Spring Edgar Pangborn
  • Now he felt Aria close to him, heard her voice trembling and breathy.

    Circle of Flight Richard Stockham
British Dictionary definitions for breathy


adjective breathier, breathiest
(of the speaking voice) accompanied by an audible emission of breath
(of the singing voice) lacking resonance
Derived Forms
breathily, adverb
breathiness, 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
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Word Origin and History for breathy

1520s, "pertaining to breath," from breath + -y (2). Of voices, "full of breath," from 1883. Related: Breathily; breathiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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