- the intake and expulsion of air during respiration
- the air inhaled or exhaled during respiration
- a single respiration or inhalation of air, etc
- the vapour, heat, or odour of exhaled air
- a slight gust of air
- a short pause or rest
- a brief time
- a suggestion or slight evidence; suspicion: a breath of scandal
- a whisper or soft sound
- life, energy, or vitality: the breath of new industry
- the passage of air through the completely open glottis without vibration of the vocal cords, as in exhaling or pronouncing fricatives such as (f) or (h) or stops such as (p) or (k)
- catch one's breath ⇒ to rest until breathing is normal, esp after exertion
- in the same breath ⇒ done or said at the same time
- out of breath ⇒ gasping for air after exertion
- save one's breath ⇒ to refrain from useless talk
- take one's breath away ⇒ to overwhelm with surprise, etc
- under one's breath, below one's breath ⇒ in a quiet voice or whisper
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
breath /brɛθ/USA pronunciation n.WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
- the air taken into and sent out of the lungs while breathing:[uncountable; usually: one's + ~]It's cold enough to see your breath today.
- [countable] a single act of taking in air and sending it out of the lungs: Take a deep breath.
- [uncountable; usually: one's + ~] the ability to breathe easily and normally: I stopped tocatch my breath.
- [countable] a slight suggestion or hint: had never been touched by even a breath of scandal.
- a light current of air:[countable]A breath of wind filtered into the room.
- Idiomsbelow or under one's breath, in a low voice or whisper:"So glad to see you,'' she said. "I can't say the same, '' he muttered under his breath.
- hold one's breath, to stop breathing for a short period of time:She held her breath and dove into the water.
- Idiomsin the same (or next) breath, almost at the same time:She promised to pay us for the work and then in the next breath suggested we should do it voluntarily.
- Idiomsout of breath, breathless from exertion:I was completely out of breath after five flights of stairs.
- Idioms save one's breath, to avoid futile talk or discussion: We were told to save our breath.
- Idioms take one's breath away, to make one as if breathless with astonishment: The beauty of the sea took my breath away.
- breath is a noun, breathe is a verb, and breathless and breathtaking are adjectives:His breath smelled of whiskey. He couldn't breathe. She was breathless from excitement. The view is breathtaking.
breath (breth),USA pronunciation n.
- the air inhaled and exhaled in respiration.
- respiration, esp. as necessary to life.
- the ability to breathe easily and normally:She stopped to regain her breath.
- time to breathe;
pause or respite:Give him a little breath.
- a single inhalation or respiration:He took a deep breath.
- the brief time required for a single respiration;
a moment or instant:They gave it to her and took it away all in a breath.
- a slight suggestion, hint, or whisper:The breath of slander never touched her.
- a light current of air.
- Phoneticsthe air drawn into or expelled from the lungs to provide the generative source for most speech sounds.
- Phoneticsthe audible expiration generating voiceless speech sounds, as (p), (k), (sh), etc.
- moisture emitted in respiration, esp. when condensed and visible.
- a trivial circumstance;
- an odorous exhalation, or the air impregnated by it.
- [Obs.]exhalation or vapor.
- Idiomsbelow or under one's breath, in a low voice or whisper;
sotto voce:He protested under his breath because he was afraid to speak up.
- Idiomscatch one's breath, to pause or rest before continuing an activity or beginning a new one;
resume regular breathing:Let me catch my breath before I begin anything new.
- Idiomsin the same breath, at virtually the same time;
almost simultaneously:She lost her temper and apologized in the same breath.
- Idiomsout of breath, exhausted or gasping for breath, in consequence of an effort;
breathless:After climbing to the top of the tower, we were so out of breath that we had to sit down.
- Idiomssave one's breath, to avoid futile talk or discussion:We were told to save our breath because the matter had already been decided.
- Idiomstake away one's breath, to make one as if breathless with astonishment;
stun:The sheer beauty of the sea took away my breath.
- bef. 900; Middle English breth, breeth, Old English brǣth smell, exhalation; akin to German Brodem vapor, steam
- 3.See corresponding entry in Unabridged spirit, animation, vigor, force.
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
breath /brɛθ/ n
'breath' also found in these entries:
Breathalyser - Breathalyzer - Buteyko method - aikido - air - air-breather - altitude sickness - amen - anaemia - anemo- - anga - anima - animal - animate - animism - aspirate - aspiration - atman - aura - babies'-breath - baby's-breath - bad breath - bait - basilisk - bate - beery - berylliosis - bloom - blow - blowgun - blown - breath analyzer - breath group - breath test - breathable - breathe - breathed - breather - breathing - breathing space - breathless - breathtaking - breathy - buffe - buffoon - cachou - camouflet - cardiac neurosis - catalectic - catch