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

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 Adama Sanogo, who scored UConn’s first 10 points, took a breather and other, notably freshman Jordan Hawkins, took over, with Cole and Polley hitting the first of their momentum changing shots. Dom Amore,, 24 Nov. 2021 Fleming had only played 19 snaps before last Saturday, most of which were either garbage time or the occasional sub-in for a starter needing a breather. Tim Bielik, cleveland, 13 Nov. 2021 The Aggies, which are one of 10 FBS teams with no more than one win this season, provide a breather for the Tide before two final SEC games against Arkansas and Auburn. Mike Rodak |, al, 10 Nov. 2021 Knicks Go flew out of the starting gate, set a fast pace for a half-mile, got a breather along the backstretch and was never headed in finishing the 1¼-mile race on Del Mar’s dirt oval in 1:59.57. Bill Center, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Nov. 2021 Colson Whitehead took a breather this year from grave Southern narratives (see below), but Percival Everett picked up the baton, with satiric gifts to match. Los Angeles Times, 4 Nov. 2021 Foreign investors were active buyers of Mainland stocks overnight while the renminbi took a breather versus the dollar while staying below the 6.40 level. Brendan Ahern, Forbes, 20 Oct. 2021 To be sure, the extension would give Democrats a breather to regroup and to pivot to their infrastructure chase. Philip Elliott, Time, 7 Oct. 2021 Hikers can give overused trails a breather by heeding Frost’s advice. Washington Post, 23 Sep. 2021

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

1609, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for breather

Time Traveler

The first known use of breather was in 1609

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Dictionary Entries Near breather

breathe one's last


breathe to

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Statistics for breather

Last Updated

3 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Breather.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for breather



English Language Learners Definition of breather

: a pause for rest : break
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on breather

Nglish: Translation of breather for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of breather for Arabic Speakers


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