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verb [no object]
take 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 breathe be or seem to be alive because of this:at least I’m still breathing literary (of wind) blow softly. [with direct speech] say something with quiet intensity:“We’re together at last,” she breathed (of an animal or plant) respire or exchange gases:plants breathe through their roots [with object] give an impression of (something):the whole room breathed an air of hygienic efficiency (of wine) be exposed to fresh air:red wine needs untold time to breathe (of material or soil) admit or emit air or moisture:let your lawn breathe by putting air into the soil [with object] allow (a horse) to rest after exertion.
or literary tarnish or taint:before the queen’s fair name was breathed upon