under one's breath
Softly, in an undertone or whisper, as in “I can't stand one more minute of that music,” she muttered under her breath. This idiom, first recorded in 1832, is probably a hyperbole, alluding to a sound that is softer than breathing.
THINK YOU’VE GOT A HANDLE ON THIS US STATE NICKNAME QUIZ?
Question 1 of 8
Mississippi’s nickname comes from the magnificent trees that grow there. What is it?
Words nearby under one's breath
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.