breath

noun
\ ˈbreth How to pronounce breath (audio) \

Definition of breath

1a : air filled with a fragrance or odor
b : a slight indication : suggestion the faintest breath of scandal
2a : the faculty of breathing recovering his breath after the race
b : an act of breathing fought to the last breath
c : opportunity or time to breathe : respite
3 : a slight breeze
4a : air inhaled and exhaled in breathing bad breath
b : something (such as moisture on a cold surface) produced by breath or breathing
5 : a spoken sound : utterance
breath of fresh air
: a welcome or refreshing change
in one breath or in the same breath
: almost simultaneously
out of breath
: breathing very rapidly (as from strenuous exercise)
under one's breath
: so as to be barely audible mumbled something under his breath

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Examples of breath in a Sentence

When Oscar Wilde allegedly gestured at the garish wallpaper in his cheap Parisian hotel room and announced with his dying breath, "Either it goes or I go," he was exhibiting something beyond an irrepressibly brilliant wit. — Tom Robbins, Harper's, September 2004 I ski as far as I can and stop (in these relatively low-altitude coastal mountains, you don't stop for breath the way you sometimes do in Colorado; here you stop when your legs demand a break) … — Lito Tejada-Flores, Skiing, February 1999 gum that freshens your breath It's so cold outside that I can see my breath. My mad dash for the bus left me gasping for breath. I took a long breath before speaking again.
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Recent Examples on the Web

After catching our breath and believing the fractured space of PC game launchers had calmed down for a second, yet another contender arrived on Tuesday: Rockstar Games. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Rockstar Games Launcher: We install it on Windows so you don’t have to [Updated]," 17 Sep. 2019 Urbina is so successful at communicating the scale of the ocean, and the cruelty and neglect above and below its waters, that reading his book sometimes feels like gasping for a breath of air before slipping under the waves again. Alyssa Rosenberg, Washington Post, "How lawlessness and ignorance are harming our oceans," 12 Sep. 2019 Then, after everyone takes a second to catch their breath, all hell will break loose. Luke Mcgee, CNN, "Boris Johnson is out of Brexit ideas," 10 Sep. 2019 Chris Bassitt allowed Oakland’s weary bullpen to catch its breath. Ron Kroichick, SFChronicle.com, "A’s roll to victory, but Laureano leaves with cramp in troublesome leg," 7 Sep. 2019 Soon after, Hergenreder became feverish, started vomiting, and was gasping for breath. CBS News, "Teenager hospitalized after vaping with THC: "My lungs are like a 70-year-old's"," 6 Sep. 2019 According to a recent report by Goldman Sachs, the music industry -- which was gasping for breath 15 years ago -- is on track to reach $131 billion in the next decade. Brian Penick, Billboard, "Five Music Tech Investment Areas You Need to Know (Guest Column)," 5 Sep. 2019 Then light hues return for a breath in the master bedroom suite, where the bathroom is clad in Calacatta Mandria marble and the serene bedroom is anchored by a minimalist four-poster knotty pine bed designed by Beckstedt. Charles Curkin, ELLE Decor, "ELLE Decor Celebrates 30 Years with a Stunning New York City Residence," 4 Sep. 2019 Intermountain Healthcare An 18-year-old showed up in a Long Island emergency room, gasping for breath, vomiting and dizzy. New York Times, "The Mysterious Vaping Illness That’s ‘Becoming an Epidemic’," 31 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'breath.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of breath

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for breath

Middle English breth, from Old English brǣth; akin to Old High German brādam breath, and perhaps to Old English beorma yeast — more at barm

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Statistics for breath

Last Updated

12 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for breath

The first known use of breath was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for breath

breath

noun

English Language Learners Definition of breath

: the air that you take into your lungs and send out from your lungs when you breathe : air that is inhaled and exhaled in breathing
: the ability to breathe freely
: an amount of air that you take into your lungs

breath

noun
\ ˈbreth How to pronounce breath (audio) \

Kids Definition of breath

1 : ability to breathe : ease of breathing I lost my breath for a moment.
2 : air taken in or sent out by the lungs Hold your breath. It's so cold I can see my breath.
3 : a slight breeze a breath of wind
out of breath
: breathing very rapidly as a result of hard exercise
under someone's breath
: very quietly “Don't blow this for me,” Dad said under his breath.— Jack Gantos, Joey Pigza Loses Control

breath

noun
\ ˈbreth How to pronounce breath (audio) \

Medical Definition of breath

1a : the faculty of breathing recovering her breath after the race
b : an act or an instance of breathing or inhaling
2a : air inhaled and exhaled in breathing bad breath
b : something (as moisture on a cold surface) produced by breath or breathing
out of breath
: breathing very rapidly (as from strenuous exercise)

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More from Merriam-Webster on breath

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for breath

Spanish Central: Translation of breath

Nglish: Translation of breath for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of breath for Arabic Speakers

Comments on breath

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