verb (used without object), breathed [breethd] /briðd/, breath·ing.
verb (used with object), breathed [breethd] /briðd/, breath·ing.
- to be close to someone in pursuit; menace; threaten: Police from four states were breathing down his neck.
- to watch someone closely so as to supervise or control: If everyone keeps breathing down my neck, how can I get my work done?
Origin of breathe
Related formsout·breathe, verb (used with object), out·breathed, out·breath·ing.pre·breathe, verb (used with object), pre·breathed, pre·breath·ing.
British Dictionary definitions for breathe down someone's neck
- to take in air, esp for combustionthe engine breathes through this air filter
- to equalize the pressure within a container, chamber, etc, with atmospheric pressurethe crankcase breathes through this duct
Word Origin for breathe
Idioms and Phrases with breathe down someone's neck (1 of 2)
breathe down someone's neck
Pursue someone closely; pose a threat to one, as in The immigration authorities were breathing down his neck. [Mid-1900s]
Watch or supervise someone very closely, as in The boss is always breathing down our necks. [Mid-1900s]
Idioms and Phrases with breathe down someone's neck (2 of 2)
In addition to the idioms beginning with breathe
- breathe down someone's neck
- breathe easy
- breathe life into
- breathe one's last
- as I live and breathe
- breathing space
- not breathe a word