thrillingly beautiful, remarkable, astonishing, exciting, or the like: a breathtaking performance.

Origin of breathtaking

First recorded in 1875–80; breath + take + -ing2
Related formsbreath·tak·ing·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for breathtakingly

Contemporary Examples of breathtakingly

  • The dance sequences in Pina are breathtakingly filmed—some in the theater, some in outdoor settings.

  • The good cop/bad cop routine with Joe Biden, who dutifully argued against more troops, was breathtakingly cynical.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Bush Lite

    Lee Siegel

    November 30, 2009

  • A few weeks ago, she debuted her spring collection of breathtakingly short, tight dresses and skirts, to critical raves.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Inside Donatella's World

    Rebecca Dana

    October 20, 2009

  • He had bet on real estate for decades and been breathtakingly successful.

    The Daily Beast logo
    More Bad News for Tribune

    Larry Kramer

    December 8, 2008

Historical Examples of breathtakingly

  • No woman he had ever known seemed so breathtakingly beautiful.


    Irving E. Cox

  • The feeling of being cast on your own resources is at once blissfully uplifting and breathtakingly fearsome.

    Left End Edwards

    Ralph Henry Barbour

British Dictionary definitions for breathtakingly



causing awe or excitementa breathtaking view
Derived Formsbreathtakingly, adverb
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 breathtakingly



1867, from breath + present participle of take (v.). Phrase to take (one's) breath away with astonishment or delight is from 1864. Breathtaking (n.) "act of taking breaths or a breath" is from 1620s. Related: Breathtakingly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper