Definition of pant in English:

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Pronunciation: /pant/


[no object]
1Breathe with short, quick breaths, typically from exertion or excitement: he was panting when he reached the top
More example sentences
  • It was a stand off now, the two circling each other as they panted, short of breath, and sweat gleamed on their foreheads, dirt smeared across their faces.
  • We paused by a telephone pole, leaned against a garden wall, and panted in short urgent breaths.
  • We reached my house, panting and out of breath but excited nonetheless.
breathe heavily, breathe hard, puff, huff and puff, gasp, wheeze
out of breath, breathless, short of breath, puffing, huffing and puffing, gasping (for breath), wheezing, wheezy, hyperventilating
1.1 [with adverbial of direction] Run or go in a specified direction while panting: they panted up the stairs
More example sentences
  • She slid into the front hall and booked it up the stairs, leaving Bloom panting along behind her.
  • I puffed and panted my way down the stairs and along the corridors ‘til I got to the music rooms.
  • As she panted towards her second floor apartment, she clenched her palms against the banisters, as she had done in the parlour.
1.2 [with direct speech] Say something breathlessly: “We’ll never have time,” she panted
More example sentences
  • "I am late," she pants with pouty jowls.
  • "I'm suffocating," she pants.
1.3Long for, or long to do, something: it makes you pant for more
More example sentences
  • America is such an enlightened and benign hegemon, they argue, that most states will pant for US leadership.
  • The complete domination that they pant for is so close and yet still not complete.
  • Their principal device to that end is to search out groups who pant and pine for something they can't get and to promise to give it to them.
yearn for, long for, crave, hanker after/for, ache for, hunger for, thirst for, be hungry for, be thirsty for, wish for, desire, want
informal itch for, be dying for
1.4 literary (Of the heart or chest) throb violently from strong emotions.
Example sentences
  • His chest panting, the big Guaranzen saw Hark rush him once more.
  • Her chest was panting faster by the second as he looked at her with those passionate blue eyes.


1A short, quick breath.
Example sentences
  • Breath coming in short pants, he halted at the base of the tower.
  • His breath came in short pants, as if he really had been running.
  • He was covered in cold sweat and his breath came in short pants.
1.1 literary A throb or heave of a person’s heart or chest.


Middle English: related to Old French pantaisier 'be agitated, gasp', based on Greek phantasioun 'cause to imagine', from phantasia (see fantasy).

  • fantastic from Late Middle English:

    A word originally meaning ‘existing only in the imagination, unreal’ that comes from Greek phantastikos ‘vision’. Fantasy (Late Middle English) is of similar origin, as is fancy (Late Middle English), a contracted version of fantasy. The modern use of fantastic to mean ‘wonderful, excellent’ dates from the 1930s. The playful phrase trip the light fantastic, meaning ‘to dance’, goes back to John Milton's 1645 poem L'Allegro: ‘Come, and trip it as you go / On the light fantastic toe.’ Pant (Middle English) ‘to breath spasmodically’ goes back to the root verb of fantastic, phainon ‘to show’, via Old French pantaisier ‘be agitated, gasp’; as do phantom (Middle English) from phantasma ‘mere appearance’ and phenomenon (late 16th century) which meant ‘things appearing to view’ in the original Greek.

Words that rhyme with pant

ant, Brabant, Brandt, brant, cant, enceinte, extant, gallant, Kant, levant, pointe, pointes, rant, scant

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pant

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