breathe life into

Also, breathe new life into. Revive someone or something. For example, Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) shows one how to breathe life into a drowning victim, or Her appointment breathed new life into the firm. This term is used both literally, for reviving a person who has stopped breathing temporarily, and figuratively, for giving new impetus to or renewing some project. Also see breath of fresh air.

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