• synonyms


verb (used without object)
  1. to let out one's breath audibly, as from sorrow, weariness, or relief.
  2. to yearn or long; pine.
  3. to make a sound suggesting a sigh: sighing wind.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to express or utter with a sigh.
  2. to lament with sighing.
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  1. the act or sound of sighing.
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Origin of sigh

1250–1300; (v.) Middle English sighen, back formation from sihte sighed, past tense of Middle English siken, sichen, Old English sīcan to sigh; (noun) Middle English, derivative of the v.
Related formssigh·er, nounout·sigh, verb (used with object)un·sigh·ing, adjective
Can be confusedside sighedsighs size (see synonym study at size1)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

moan, sob, groan, whisper, cry, whistle, murmur, gasp, exhale, howl, blow, sough, pant, roar, grieve, sorrow, lament, whine, respire, wheeze

Examples from the Web for sighing

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for sighing


  1. (intr) to draw in and exhale audibly a deep breath as an expression of weariness, despair, relief, etc
  2. (intr) to make a sound resembling thistrees sighing in the wind
  3. (intr often foll by for) to yearn, long, or pine
  4. (tr) to utter or express with sighing
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  1. the act or sound of sighing
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Derived Formssigher, noun

Word Origin

Old English sīcan, of obscure origin
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 sighing



mid-13c., probably a Middle English back-formation from sighte, past tense of Old English sican "to sigh," perhaps echoic of the sound of sighing. Related: Sighed; sighing.

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early 14c., from sigh (v.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper