breathing space

See more synonyms for breathing space on
  1. Also called breathing spell. an opportunity to rest or think.
  2. sufficient space in which to move, work, etc.: The train was so crowded that there was hardly breathing space.

Origin of breathing space

First recorded in 1640–50 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for breathing space

breather, breath

British Dictionary definitions for breathing space

breathing space

  1. enough area to permit freedom of movementthe country gives us some breathing space
  2. a pause for rest, etca coffee break was their only breathing space
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

Idioms and Phrases with breathing space

breathing space


Room or time in which to breathe, as in In that crowded hall, there was hardly any breathing space. Previously this term was put as breathing room. [Mid-1600s]


A rest or pause. For example, I can't work at this all day; I need some breathing space. This usage replaced the earlier breathing while. [Mid-1600s]

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