verb (used without object)
verb (used with object)
HEED THE VOX POPULI, AND TAKE THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ!
Origin of sigh
OTHER WORDS FROM sighsigh·er, nounout·sigh, verb (used with object)un·sigh·ing, adjective
Words nearby sigh
What does sigh mean?
Where does sigh come from?
We’ve been sighing long before it was written down. It was first recorded around the 1300s as both a noun and a verb. In Middle English literature, we see many sighs in longing for love, for instance, or other worldly woes.
As online writing can’t always convey tone, typing out sigh became particularly useful and common as the internet took off in the 1990s–2000s. So much so, in fact, that in the 2000s, the mock French le sigh—with le a French article for “the”—became a humorous way to show frustration, weariness, or other emotions.
I have acquired a painful set of loneliness… Le sigh. pic.twitter.com/LWTopFBXz6
— Sarah Faye O'Connor (@SarahFOConnor) November 14, 2018
How is sigh used in real life?
In digital communication, people write out sigh in commentary on–or reaction to–various content. It is also used to mark the tone on a post or message.
Often, sigh written just as sigh after a remark or on its own. It may also be written as *sigh*, the asterisks acting like stage directions. Some even write le sigh for emphasis or irony.
All is restored! le sigh pic.twitter.com/JpY5SKuuQK
— Corlon Evans (@Corlon_Evans) November 12, 2018
Internet sigh’s are as versatile as real-life sighs, and they’ve migrated from social media to web article headlines. They can be issued in complaint, annoyance, disappointment, resignation, even wistful yearning.
Gosh she was pretty *sigh* ♥️ pic.twitter.com/MwwlheUKpr
— Ǥαβʀιεlα 🦎🐲 (@noir_or_never) October 20, 2018
Good Morning from the Golden Retriever Channel. M and the kids are up early. Let's get a little wet. One of the kids wants a ride on the Purple Submarine. It's going to be a long day *sigh*
(Nicholberrygoldens IG) pic.twitter.com/o0tEWoBMIb
— Golden Retriever Channel (@GoldretrieverUS) May 21, 2020
This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.
Example sentences from the Web for sigh
Rob Marshall lets a sigh of relief erupt so loud it could be heard by giants in the sky.
“We can blame Carrie Bradshaw for this,” says Shaunaq Arora, half-joking; his sigh tinged with the cloudy breath of his Gauloises.
Strong, young, crisply uniformed, he or she would shake, sigh, stare blankly, or cry, recounting variations of this statement.Bergdahl’s Bitter Homecoming: The Psychological Cost of War|Jean Kim|July 19, 2014|DAILY BEAST
And, among certain sections of society at least, provoked a sigh of relief.
“All our love for Kiev was poisoned by their revolution,” she concluded with a sigh.Putin Has Predicted Civil War in Ukraine. So Do Many of Its People|Anna Nemtsova|April 16, 2014|DAILY BEAST
With a sigh of relief she stretches out her aching and swollen arms.The Executioner's Knife|Eugne Sue
The south wind and the new-born calf at the barn begin to sigh.Remarks|Bill Nye
And Robineau heaved a sigh—which did not prevent his finishing his ice.The White House (Novels of Paul de Kock Volume XII)|Charles Paul de Kock
"I must first rest a little," he returned, with a sigh of weariness, as he fell back exhausted upon his rude couch.Mildred at Home|Martha Finley
And Julius March moved away from the open window with a sigh.The History of Sir Richard Calmady|Lucas Malet