Origin of sigh
OTHER WORDS FROM sighsigher, nounoutsigh, verb (used with object)un·sigh·ing, adjective
Words nearby sigh
MORE ABOUT SIGH
What does sigh mean?
Sigh, an audible exhalation, conveys a broad range of emotions from sadness and disappointment to sarcasm and relief. People frequently write it out online to express such sentiments.
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.
How to use sigh in a sentence
When the quarantine was over, Mulhern breathed a sigh of relief.After telling more than 800 athletes and coaches to quarantine, a county halts youth sports|Ovetta Wiggins|November 30, 2020|Washington Post
Investors have seemingly breathed a sigh of relief after Tesla continued its profitability streak, as the Elon Musk–led company beat earnings estimates late Wednesday.Tesla shares pop after a big earnings beat—but its jump to the S&P 500 is hardly a ‘sure thing’|Anne Sraders|October 22, 2020|Fortune
Yet in recent years, there’s an equally unmistakable, collective sigh of frustration that often accompanies the actual announcements.Are the Science Nobels Stuck in the 20th Century?|Charu Kasturi|October 11, 2020|Ozy
Mock-up of iOS 14 tracking permission dialogWhile some mobile marketers breathed an audible sigh of relief with the delay, the reprieve is probably temporary.Apple IDFA consent: Roughly 60% of consumers open to allowing tracking|Greg Sterling|September 11, 2020|Search Engine Land
Marketers heaved a major sigh of relief in the announcement’s wake, as they could now use the two new attributes to help Google better understand the link’s intent and use.
Rob Marshall lets a sigh of relief erupt so loud it could be heard by giants in the sky.Rob Marshall Defends ‘Into the Woods’|Kevin Fallon|December 9, 2014|DAILY BEAST
But Lomax can heave a small sigh of relief, at least for now: Legislative reform to the 1033 program will not happen in 2014.SWAT Lobby Shoots to Kill Police Reform After Ferguson|Tim Mak|December 2, 2014|DAILY BEAST
“We can blame Carrie Bradshaw for this,” says Shaunaq Arora, half-joking; his sigh tinged with the cloudy breath of his Gauloises.How Brooklyn Invaded Paris—Next Stop, the World|Brandon Presser|October 23, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Punctuating his comment with a loud sigh, Hart adds: “You have to live with that, you know?”How Gary Hart Became the First Political Sex Scandal Casualty|Lloyd Grove|October 1, 2014|DAILY BEAST
When the Child Model Act was signed into law, model rights activists such as myself sounded a collective sigh of relief.Does Fashion Week Exploit Teen Models?|Jennifer Sky|September 14, 2014|DAILY BEAST
And now I can recall that his eyes closed, and from his lips I caught a sigh, and then he rolled to the floor.The Homesteader|Oscar Micheaux
“Well, I hope he does,” sighed Sol, the sigh being breathed to give expression of what remained unspoken.The Bondboy|George W. (George Washington) Ogden
"I wish the old homes of England had electric lights," thought Miss Otis, with a sigh.Ancestors|Gertrude Atherton
For hours the gray man would sit on a tombstone, while Black Sheep read epitaphs, and then with a sigh would stump home again.Kipling Stories and Poems Every Child Should Know, Book II|Rudyard Kipling
"I fear, squire, hers is not a bodily affection," said Mrs. Dodd with a deep sigh.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3)|Charles James Wills