shoot/bat the breeze, Slang.
    1. to converse aimlessly; chat.
    2. to talk nonsense or exaggerate the truth: He likes to shoot the breeze, so don't take everything he says seriously.

Origin of breeze

1555–65; earlier brize, brise north or northeast wind; compare Dutch bries, East Frisian brîse, French brize, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan brisa, Italian brezza; orig. and path of transmission disputed
Related formsbreeze·less, adjectivebreeze·like, adjective

Synonyms for breeze

1. See wind1. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for shoot the breeze

chatter, gab, palaver, prate, prattle, yap, BS, schmooze, yack

British Dictionary definitions for shoot the breeze




a gentle or light wind
meteorol a wind of force two to six inclusive on the Beaufort scale
informal an easy task or state of easebeing happy here is a breeze
informal, mainly British a disturbance, esp a lively quarrel
shoot the breeze informal to chat

verb (intr)

to move quickly or casuallyhe breezed into the room
(of wind) to blowthe south wind breezed over the fields

Word Origin for breeze

C16: probably from Old Spanish briza northeast wind




an archaic or dialect name for the gadfly

Word Origin for breeze

Old English briosa, of unknown origin




ashes of coal, coke, or charcoal used to make breeze blocks

Word Origin for breeze

C18: from French braise live coals; see braise
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 shoot the breeze



1560s, "north or northeast wind," from Old Spanish briza "cold northeast wind;" in West Indies and Spanish Main, the sense shifting to "northeast trade wind," then "fresh wind from the sea." English sense of "gentle or light wind" is from 1620s. An alternative possibility is that the English word is from East Frisian brisen "to blow fresh and strong." The slang for "something easy" is American English, c.1928.



"move briskly," 1904, from breeze (n.). Related: Breezed; breezing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with shoot the breeze

shoot the breeze

Also, shoot or throw the bull. Talk idly, chat, as in They've been sitting on the porch for hours, just shooting the breeze, or The guys sit around the locker room, throwing the bull. The first of these slangy terms, alluding to talking into the wind, was first recorded in 1919. In the variant, first recorded in 1908, bull is a shortening of bullshit, and means “empty talk” or “lies.”


In addition to the idiom beginning with breeze

  • breeze in

also see:

  • hands down (in a breeze)
  • shoot the breeze
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.