breathing space


Definition of breathing space

: some time in which to recover, get organized, or get going

called also breathing room, breathing spell

Examples of breathing space in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

And the longish average maturity of its bonds, around seven years, gives it breathing space. The Economist, "Italy’s political crisis is roiling financial markets once more," 31 May 2018 Heavy hitters Groove Armada breathe space into its lyrics with break-beat rhythms and deep bass rumbles. Kat Bein, Billboard, "Tycho & More Remix ODESZA's Leon Bridges Collab 'Across the Room': Listen," 20 June 2018 Resin terrazzo can’t be used outdoors, though, says Krause—that’s why large floors still tend to be concrete-based, and have brass inlays that create breathing space to prevent crazing and cracking. Jessica Furseth, Curbed, "How terrazzo made a comeback," 13 June 2018 After announcing levies on steel and aluminum imports last month, Trump granted a waiver to the EU until May 1, giving the region breathing space to resolve negotiations on security and trade issues. Helene Fouquet,, "Europe Stands Firm on Trade Position as Global Tensions Increase," 4 Apr. 2018 Barcelona enjoy breathing space again at the top of La Liga and Ernesto Valverde can afford to keep one eye on Chelsea when his side visit bottom club Malaga on Saturday. Tom Allnutt,, "Barcelona visit Malaga ahead of Chelsea clash," 9 Mar. 2018 Businesses have been calling for a swift accord on transition that would give them breathing space. Emma Ross-thomas,, "Brexit Bulletin: Back to the Brink," 24 Oct. 2017 Experts believe that has given the extremists breathing space and emboldened them in their guerrilla attacks. Washington Post, "Somalia readies for ‘state of war’ as death toll up to 358," 21 Oct. 2017 The goal allowed Cincinnati breathing space after the club struggled to contain the Red Bulls II offensive surge through the first 20 minutes of the second half. Charlie Hatch,, "Harrison Delbridge helps FC Cincinnati attack and defense alike," 18 Sep. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of breathing space

1599, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about breathing space

Statistics for breathing space

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for breathing space

The first known use of breathing space was in 1599

See more words from the same year

Comments on breathing space

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


characterized by aphorism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!