breathe

[breeth]
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verb (used without object), breathed [breethd] /briðd/, breath·ing.

verb (used with object), breathed [breethd] /briðd/, breath·ing.


Idioms

    breathe down someone's neck,
    1. to be close to someone in pursuit; menace; threaten: Police from four states were breathing down his neck.
    2. to watch someone closely so as to supervise or control: If everyone keeps breathing down my neck, how can I get my work done?
    breathe freely, to have relief from anxiety, tension, or pressure: Now that the crisis was over, he could breathe freely.Also breathe easily, breathe easy.
    breathe one's last, to die: He breathed his last and was buried in the churchyard.
    not breathe a word/syllable, to maintain secrecy; keep a matter confidential: I'll tell you if you promise not to breathe a word.

Origin of breathe

1250–1300; Middle English brethen, derivative of breath
Related formsout·breathe, verb (used with object), out·breathed, out·breath·ing.pre·breathe, verb (used with object), pre·breathed, pre·breath·ing.
Can be confusedbreadth breath breathe

Synonyms for breathe

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for breathes

Contemporary Examples of breathes

Historical Examples of breathes

  • Eulalia, when at the stake, breathes the flame that she may die the more quickly.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • Occasionally there is a similar straining after the air it breathes.

    The Meaning of Evolution

    Samuel Christian Schmucker

  • It breathes the spirit of Socrates, but has been cast anew in the mould of Plato.

    Apology

    Plato

  • I'll send you a prescription for his heart, if he breathes too heavily.

    Martians Never Die

    Lucius Daniel

  • The child who breathes imperfectly but ill maintains its heat.


British Dictionary definitions for breathes

breathe

verb

to take in oxygen from (the surrounding medium, esp air) and give out carbon dioxide; respire
(intr) to exist; be aliveevery animal that breathes on earth
(intr) to rest to regain breath, composure, etcstop your questions, and give me a chance to breathe
(intr) (esp of air) to blow lightlythe wind breathed through the trees
(intr) machinery
  1. to take in air, esp for combustionthe engine breathes through this air filter
  2. to equalize the pressure within a container, chamber, etc, with atmospheric pressurethe crankcase breathes through this duct
(tr) phonetics to articulate (a speech sound) without vibration of the vocal cordsCompare voice (def. 19)
to exhale or emitthe dragon breathed fire
(tr) to impart; instilto breathe confidence into the actors
(tr) to speak softly; whisperto breathe words of love
(tr) to permit to restto breathe a horse
(intr) (of a material) to allow air to pass through so that perspiration can evaporate
breathe again, breathe freely or breathe easily to feel reliefI could breathe again after passing the exam
breathe down someone's neck to stay close to someone, esp to oversee what they are doingthe cops are breathing down my neck
breathe one's last to die or be finished or defeated

Word Origin for breathe

C13: from breath
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

Word Origin and History for breathes

breathe

v.

c.1300, not in Old English, but it retains the original Old English vowel of its source word, breath. Related: Breathed; breathing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with breathes

breathe

In addition to the idioms beginning with breathe

  • breathe down someone's neck
  • breathe easy
  • breathe life into
  • breathe one's last

also see:

  • as I live and breathe
  • breathing space
  • not breathe a word
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.