- 1Take air into the lungs and then expel it, especially as a regular physiological process: she was wheezing as she breathed breathe in through your nose he breathed out heavily [with object]: we are polluting the air we breatheMore example sentences
- When we breathe in, the lungs take in oxygen, which our cells need to live and carry out their normal functions.
- Put your lips over the mouthpiece and breathe in deeply and quickly.
- Close your eyes and breathe in very deeply, concentrate on the days pleasant happenings.
- 1.1Be or seem to be alive because of this: at least I’m still breathingMore example sentences
be alive, be living, live
- After all this time she was alive, living, breathing, and walking on the earth.
- Up till this morning, you were alive, living and breathing and doing alive things.
- At each visit, the prison employee should verify that the inmate is alive and breathing.
- 1.2 • literary (Of wind) blow softly.More example sentences
- The suns' rays beat sharply on the maiden's back and a light wind breathed through the folds of her outfit.
- As a sly wind breathed wispily beneath my collared shirt, I opened the main doors to the school and stepped inside.
- I could hear the soft wind breathing through the snow, and I was so cold.
- 1.4(Of an animal or plant) respire or exchange gases: plants breathe through their rootsMore example sentences
- Around him, the Dogs breathed like so many bellows, and the crisp snow crackled beneath his feet.
- Avoid blocking the nose with food or formula so your kitten can breathe easily and not panic.
- All the rain we've had means that the worms can't breathe.
- 1.5 [with object] Give an impression of (something): the whole room breathed an air of hygienic efficiencyMore example sentences
- The room seemed to breathe the air of a different era.
- The whole picture breathes timidity and refinement.
- Every sentence breathes the character of its author.
- 1.6(Of wine) be exposed to fresh air: red wine needs untold time to breatheMore example sentences
- Such wines should be left to breathe for a short time before serving simply to allow any bottle sickness to dissipate.
- Pour out this wine and let it breathe while you're cooking up some lamb chops.
- Do you want to let the wine breathe before dinner?
- 1.7(Of material or soil) admit or emit air or moisture: let your lawn breathe by putting air into the soilMore example sentences
- Cotton breathes better than most fabrics and offers great absorbency.
- Treasures here are stored in tissue paper rather than plastic because paper breathes.
- Plastic is no good for the soil because soil needs to breathe.
- 1.8 [with object] Allow (a horse) to rest after exertion.More example sentences
- They had slowed down in front of us because of the amount the brush there was and to let the horses breathe.
- 1.9 (breathe upon) • archaic or • literary Tarnish or taint: before the queen’s fair name was breathed uponMore example sentences
- He had never heard of the slightest suspicion being breathed upon the name of a judge after he had been elevated to the bench.
breathe (freely) again
- Relax after being frightened or tense about something: she wouldn’t breathe freely again until she was airborneMore example sentences
- I tried to restrain my thoughts and truly relax to some extent where I could breathe again.
- They relax her and she feels like she can breathe again.
- It felt like hours before he could breathe again, before he could relax his jaw and focus.
breathe down someone's neck
- Follow closely behind someone.More example sentences
- He was always right behind me, breathing down my neck.
- The claustrophobic camera follows him around the workshop, breathing down his neck.
- Take one last look in your rear-view mirror at that muscle-bound, angular-featured SUV bully breathing down your neck.
- Constantly check up on someone.More example sentences
- I've got the king breathing down my neck constantly.
- You had to live with your parents breathing down your neck 24/7.
- ‘I'm my own boss, there's no one breathing down my neck,’ he said.
breathe one's last
- Die.More example sentences
- He breathed his last at the hospital at around 0930 hrs on Friday morning.
- I know I'm going to remember this till I breathe my last.
- ‘Nothing like breathing your last to give you new life,’ said the master of paradox Samuel Beckett.
breathe (new) life into
- Fill with enthusiasm and energy; reinvigorate: spring breathes new life into a wintry woodsMore example sentences
- The opera company has a reputation for breathing new life into neglected masterpieces.
- Even under a heavy latex suit, his intensity comes through and breathes life into what could be a wooden role.
- Some directors combined visual and aural experimentation to breathe life into what they viewed as a moribund art form.
breathe a sigh of relief
- Exhale noisily as a sign of relief (often used hyperbolically): they breathed a great sigh of relief after the election was wonMore example sentences
- Grateful for the relief and happy at the prospect of sleep, Ely breathed a sigh of relief.
- She told herself to breathe a sigh of relief, but somehow the relief she'd expected didn't come.
- And I suspect that a lot of people can be breathing a sigh of relief that those talks didn't go any farther than they did.
live and breathe
- see live1.
not breathe a word
- Remain silent about something; keep secret.More example sentences
- That boy doesn't breathe a word about you.
- You didn't breathe a word about bringing him along.
- Please don't breathe a word to anybody else about this, I don't want it coming out.
Middle English (in the sense 'exhale, steam'): from breath.