breathe

verb
\ ˈbrēt͟h How to pronounce breathe (audio) \
breathed; breathing

Definition of breathe

intransitive verb

1a : to draw air into and expel it from the lungs : respire broadly : to take in oxygen and give out carbon dioxide through natural processes
b : to inhale and exhale freely
2 : to blow softly
3 : live
4 : to pause and rest before continuing
5 : to feel free of restraint needs room to breathe
6a : to permit passage of air or vapor a fabric that breathes
b of an internal combustion engine : to use air to support combustion
c : to be cooled or dried by air that passes by or through clothing that allows your skin to breathe
7 of wine : to develop flavor and bouquet by exposure to air
8a : to become perceptible : be expressed a personality that breathes and that distinguishes his work— Bennett Schiff
b obsolete : to emit a fragrance or aura

transitive verb

1 : to inhale and exhale breathe air
2a : to send out by exhaling
b : to instill by or as if by breathing breathe new life into the movement
3 : to take in in breathing breathe the scent of pines
4a : utter, express don't breathe a word of it to anyone
b : to make manifest : evince the novel breathes despair
5 : to give rest from exertion to
6 : to spend a great deal of time, thought, or effort on (something) : to be wholly devoted to (some interest or activity) The Virginia native may not breathe basketball 24-7 … but during games and practice, his focus is second to none.— Robbi Pickeral As with visiting companies, one of the key reasons for going to conferences is to avoid the tunnel vision that can overcome managers who live and breathe their business.— Leslie Brokaw
breathe down one's neck
1 : to threaten especially in attack or pursuit
2 : to keep one under close or constant surveillance parents always breathing down his neck
breathe easy or breathe easier or breathe easily or breathe freely
: to enjoy relief (as from pressure or danger)

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Synonyms for breathe

Synonyms

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Examples of breathe in a Sentence

No one was more grief-stricken by Lincoln's assassination than Stanton, who spoke the imperishable words as the president breathed his last: "Now he belongs to the ages." — James M. McPherson, New York Times Book Review, 6 Nov. 2005 … The tinder burned all right, but that was as far as I got. I blew on it, I breathed on it, I cupped it in my hands, but no sooner did I add twigs than the whole thing went black. — Jean Craighead George, My Side of the Mountain, (1959) 2001 However, liquid nitrogen is not used for higher levels of fog because breathing this substance is unsafe. Dry ice is a safer material, and can be used either at ground level or higher. — Patricia D. Netzley, Encylopedia Of Movie Special Effects, 2000 Earth is surrounded by a life-giving gaseous envelope called the atmosphere. This thin blanket of air is an integral part of the planet. It not only provides the air that we breathe but also acts to protect us from the dangerous radiation emitted by the Sun. — Frederick K. Lutgens et al., The Atmosphere, 1979/2001 He was breathing hard from running. The patient suddenly stopped breathing. I can hardly breathe with all this smoke. He wants to live where he can breathe clean air. a dragon that breathes fire People usually contract the virus by breathing contaminated air. Breathe deeply and then exhale. I'll never give up as long as I'm still breathing. a living, breathing human being
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Recent Examples on the Web Nearly 46 percent of Americans still breathe dirty air, the American Lung Association reports. Beth Gardiner, Environment, "This landmark law saved millions of lives and trillions of dollars," 29 Dec. 2020 There are 299 coronavirus patients in intensive care, up from 290 on Wednesday, and 159 patients using a ventilator to breathe, an increase from 152 on Wednesday. Andres Picon, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio surpasses 110,000 COVID-19 cases; 1,000 people hospitalized with the virus," 27 Dec. 2020 Caldwell passed it on to her 58-year-old husband, who for a month struggled to breathe. Los Angeles Times, "Surrounded by death, nursing home workers battle management and fear to protect patients," 27 Dec. 2020 The 21-year-old struggled to breathe, hurt all over and nearly quit multiple times. John Marshall, ajc, "Amid anguish of pandemic, sports offered memorable moments," 25 Dec. 2020 Part too is that in the continent’s extensive rural communities there is less time spent indoors, with families and crowds having less occasion to breathe the same air. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, "What Bill Gates Thinks About the State of the Fight Against COVID-19," 22 Dec. 2020 The masks allow health care workers to breathe the same air as COVID patients, when correctly fitted to get an airtight seal against the face. Joe Carlson, Star Tribune, "Company agrees to surrender a half-million counterfeit N95 masks to the state to be destroyed," 22 Dec. 2020 When the ultimate goal is to breathe clean air free of potentially harmful particles, an air purifier is probably not the best place to skimp. Popular Science, "Best air purifier: Fight allergens, smoke, and germs for cleaner indoor air," 16 Dec. 2020 Even if voters resoundingly breathe fresh air into our system and turn down the temperature after this maddening political season, the road to economic, social, climate and health recovery will be arduous. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Commentary: The insidious virus of xenophobia may never be eradicated. No politician we elect has the vaccine.," 4 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'breathe.' 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 breathe

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for breathe

Middle English brethen, from breth — see breath

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Time Traveler for breathe

Time Traveler

The first known use of breathe was in the 14th century

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Statistics for breathe

Last Updated

11 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Breathe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/breathe. Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for breathe

breathe

verb
How to pronounce breathe (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of breathe

: to move air into and out of your lungs : to inhale and exhale
: to send (something) out from your lungs through your mouth or nose
: to take (something) into your lungs through your mouth or nose

breathe

verb
\ ˈbrēt͟h How to pronounce breathe (audio) \
breathed; breathing

Kids Definition of breathe

1 : to draw air into and expel it from the lungs
2 : to take in by inhaling … Esperanza would take Mama's hands … and breathe in the fresh smell.— Pam Muñoz Ryan, Esperanza Rising
3 : live entry 1 sense 1 He still breathes.
4 : say entry 1 sense 1, utter Don't breathe a word of this.

breathe

verb
\ ˈbrēt͟h How to pronounce breathe (audio) \
breathed; breathing

Medical Definition of breathe

intransitive verb

1 : to draw air into and expel it from the lungs : respire broadly : to take in oxygen and give out carbon dioxide through natural processes
2 : to inhale and exhale freely

transitive verb

: to inhale and exhale breathing fresh air

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Comments on breathe

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