- 1The air taken into or expelled from the lungs: I was gasping for breath his breath smelled of garlicMore example sentences
- This waif-like girl was sitting upright, gasping for breath with an oxygen cannula dripping blood.
- As the oxygen mask reduced her need to gasp for breath, Mary relaxed a bit and reflected on her last, turbulent hour.
- Gasping for breath at the top, I went into the bedroom and found that my respiration rate matched that of the patient.
- 1.1An inhalation or exhalation of air from the lungs: she drew in a quick breath take three deep breathsMore example sentences
- When the treatment is finished, inhalation sedation wears off after a few deep breaths.
- I was taking shorter breaths and getting exhausted quicker than the average person.
- I have to take it in my stride and take a few deep breaths and manage it in the most mature way I can.
- 1.3A brief moment; the time required for one act of respiration: in Las Vegas, they marry you in a breathMore example sentences
- In the breath of a moment before the clouds moved back over the moon the tension snapped.
- One hour ago, he was alive, then, in a breath he was gone.
- Our lives are over in a breath teach us to count how few days we have.
- 1.4 [in singular] A slight movement of air: the weather was balmy, not a breath of wind
- 1.5 [in singular] A sign, hint, or suggestion: he avoided the slightest breath of scandalMore example sentences
- Nevertheless, priests and laity restored the mass at the mere breath of royal suggestion.
- The writer added a breath of intrigue to the mystery surrounding the wizard.
- Coy admissions of a relationship between the parties lent a breath of intrigue to the otherwise sedate election campaign.
a breath of fresh air
- A small amount of or a brief time in the fresh air.More example sentences
- Try a breath of fresh air once in a while, it'll do you good.
- Do yourself a favour: stop conversing with your cats, turn off the stereo, and get a breath of fresh air.
- We see the the little heads of immature turtles coming up for a breath of fresh air.
- A refreshing change: the company’s no-nonsense attitude is a breath of fresh airMore example sentences
- But he was a breath of fresh air because he was brutally honest.
- In an era in which kids’ films are condescending, this movie is a breath of fresh air.
- She's like a breath of fresh air and he feels he can talk through his problems with her.
the breath of life
- A thing that someone needs or depends on: politics has been the breath of life to her for 50 yearsMore example sentences
- Yours is the house which decides the fate of the land, the house which gives the breath of life to the people.
- In India, rice is often called the breath of life.
- She poured some into the cap, cupping it into her hands and inhaling its warmth as if it were the breath of life.
catch one's breath
- 1Cease breathing momentarily in surprise or fear.More example sentences
- The pain wasn't too bad but it caught my breath.
- As I walked out of our cottage, the sky caught my breath as I muttered a "thank you" to God for such a beautiful place.
- 2Rest after exercise to restore normal breathing: she stood for a few moments, catching her breathMore example sentences
- Once the pain subsided, I was still panting and trying to catch my breath.
- It felt like my chest tightened up and I had to struggle to catch my breath.
- I crouched down behind a pile of broken stone to catch my breath.
don't hold your breath
- • informal Used hyperbolically to indicate that something is likely to take a long time: don’t hold your breath waiting for Congress to clean up political action committeesMore example sentences
- But don't hold your breath to see it portrayed as such onscreen anytime soon.
- So, if you are waiting for dramatic action against air pollution, don't hold your breath.
- But don't hold your breath for a correction to appear in the nation's paper of record.
- Breathe in.More example sentences
- He talks knowledgeably and constantly, only drawing breath to puff on his cigarette.
- This is the place for drawing breath, plus a long, cool lime juice.
- Photographing them gives me an excuse to briefly draw breath and to rapture.
get one's breath (back)
- Begin to breathe normally again after exercise or exertion.More example sentences
- She was still breathing hard, but was beginning to get her breath back.
- In the car going over there I tried to breathe and couldn't get my breath.
- She was shocked and screaming and could not get her breath.
hold one's breath
- Cease breathing temporarily.More example sentences
- Remember to try tightening all your muscles, holding your breath, or breathing heavy.
- This test involves breathing normally then holding your breath for as long as is comfortable.
- Don't inhale deeply or hold your breath, just breathe normally.
- Be in a state of suspense or anticipation: France held its breath while the Senate chose its new presidentMore example sentences
- I know you've all been waiting for me while holding your breath in anticipation of some sort of great leader, but I'm not.
- The answer, in case you were holding your breath, was a pretty resounding no.
- There are still a lot of people holding their breath, wondering how this launch will go.
in the same (or next) breath
- At the same time: he congratulated Simon on his victory but in the same breath dismissed itMore example sentences
- I'd normally go a long way to avoid shows in which words like ‘engineering’ and ‘entertainment’ are used in the same breath.
- I only came here so I could be mentioned in the same breath as him during the introductions.
- Salzman celebrates and scrutinizes the policy in the same breath.
- The last moment of one’s life (often used hyperbolically); death: she would fight to the last breath to preserve her good nameMore example sentences
- And in her last breath, her last moment of life, she looked around and I wasn't there.
- I swung into the hall, prepared to fight to my last breath.
- From the moment we are born until we take our last breath and die, it is like our life force.
out of breath
- Gasping for air, typically after exercise: he arrived on the top floor out of breathMore example sentences
- Panting, she was out of breath when she held out her hands and gripped onto his arms tightly.
- Half an hour later Liz walked off the dance floor and flopped back into her chair, out of breath.
- After about ten more minutes, they were nearly to the top and both of them were out of breath.
save one's breath
- Stop wasting time in futile talk: save your breath; I know all about itMore example sentences
- So these guys were the smart ones, getting it printed on t-shirts to save their breath for running.
- He should heed his own statement from today and save his breath until he has something substantive to say.
- The candidates, they suggested, should save their breath for the economy and health care.
take someone's breath away
- Astonish or inspire someone with awed respect or delight.More example sentences
- She's an astonishing performer, she takes your breath away.
- To feel such venom coming at you is so shocking it takes your breath away.
- He slowly removed his sunglasses, revealing a pair stunning blue eyes that took Rika 's breath away.
under (or below) one's breath
- In a very quiet voice; almost inaudibly: he swore violently under his breath Compare with sotto voce.More example sentences
- She swore softly under her breath as she began to push her way through the crowd.
- She stared at the empty glass for a moment, and then swore quietly under her breath.
- They chanted softly under their breath in a language said to have died with the ancient evils.
waste one's breath
- Talk or give advice without effect: I have better things to do than waste my breath arguingMore example sentences
- But they're wasting their breath, we're not about to sacrifice the principles we cherish.
- So quit wasting your breath, forget her and move out of my way.
- Stop wasting your breath and drive or else I'll do it myself!
Old English brǣth 'smell, scent', of Germanic origin; related to brood.