breath·​er | \ ˈbrē-t͟hər How to pronounce breather (audio) \

Definition of breather

1 : one that breathes
2 : a break in activity for rest or relief
3 : a small vent in an otherwise airtight enclosure

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Examples of breather in a Sentence

He decided to give them a breather. took a breather from the seemingly endless task of sorting through years of stuff stored in the attic

Recent Examples on the Web

Your skin deserves a breather after a bikini wax service. April Franzino, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know Before Your First Bikini Wax," 11 June 2019 So tomorrow, take a breather from the spooky garb and try one of these 11 easy costumes instead. Katie Devlin, Vogue, "11 Last-Minute Halloween Costumes, Inspired by Feel-Good Movies," 30 Oct. 2018 Investors were worried that Adidas needed a breather after constant-currency growth of 18% in 2016 and 17% in 2017, which was partly driven by a craze for its Stan Smith sneakers. Stephen Wilmot, WSJ, "Adidas Is Looking Fitter Than Nike," 9 Aug. 2018 The level of focus and fitness required, especially when breathers, possession or counterattacks happen so rarely, represents a massive test. Brian Straus,, "Iceland Excels Playing Its Way to Secure Another Famous Point Worth Celebrating," 16 June 2018 Consumer companies declined Friday after U.S. retail-sales data showed American consumers reined in their spending in August, taking a breather after very strong sales growth in July. Corrie Driebusch, WSJ, "Stocks Hang On to Weekly Gains," 14 Sep. 2018 HIGHLIGHTS Global Economy: The bullish sentiment that bolstered the oil market during the first three weeks of 2019 has largely taken a breather this week. Christopher Alessi, WSJ, "U.S. Oil Prices Decline on Global Slowdown Fears," 23 Jan. 2019 By adding Paul, the Rockets corrected the Suns’ mistake, allowing an otherworldly but overworked ballhandler to steal breathers and eliminate listless possessions. Lee Jenkins,, "Space City: How Faith Fuels the Rockets' Explosive Offense," 1 May 2018 Oil prices have come off lows seen at the end of 2018, but their recent rally began to take a breather this week. Amrith Ramkumar, WSJ, "Oil Falls on Fresh Demand Worries," 22 Jan. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for breather

Last Updated

26 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for breather

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

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More Definitions for breather



English Language Learners Definition of breather

: a pause for rest
: someone or something that breathes in a specified way


breath·​er | \ ˈbrē-t͟hər How to pronounce breather (audio) \

Kids Definition of breather

: a pause for rest


breath·​er | \ ˈbrē-t͟hər How to pronounce breather (audio) \

Medical Definition of breather

: one that breathes usually in a specified way — see mouth breather

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More from Merriam-Webster on breather

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with breather

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for breather

Spanish Central: Translation of breather

Nglish: Translation of breather for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of breather for Arabic Speakers

Comments on breather

What made you want to look up breather? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to take the place or position of

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