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See more synonyms for breathless on Thesaurus.com
  1. without breath or breathing with difficulty; gasping; panting: We were breathless after the steep climb.
  2. with the breath held, as in suspense, astonishment, fear, or the like: breathless listeners of the mystery story.
  3. causing loss of breath, as from excitement, anticipation, or tension: a breathless ride.
  4. dead; lifeless.
  5. motionless or still, as air without a breeze: a breathless summer day.
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Origin of breathless

First recorded in 1350–1400, breathless is from the Middle English word brethles. See breath, -less
Related formsbreath·less·ly, adverbbreath·less·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for breathlessly

willingly, cordially, vigorously, sincerely, promptly, intently, zealously, heartily, gladly, earnestly, energetically, readily, breathlessly, actively, hungrily, impatiently, enthusiastically, ardently, fervently, longingly

Examples from the Web for breathlessly

Contemporary Examples of breathlessly

Historical Examples of breathlessly

British Dictionary definitions for breathlessly


  1. out of breath; gasping, etc
  2. holding one's breath or having it taken away by excitement, etca breathless confrontation
  3. (esp of the atmosphere) motionless and stifling
  4. rare lifeless; dead
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Derived Formsbreathlessly, adverbbreathlessness, 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

Word Origin and History for breathlessly



late 14c., "unable to breathe," from breath + -less. Meaning "out of breath, panting" is from mid-15c. Used from 1590s in the sense "dead." Meaning "forgetting to breathe due to excitement, awe, anticipation, etc." is recorded from 1802. Related: Breathlessly; breathlessness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper