breath·​less | \ ˈbreth-ləs How to pronounce breathless (audio) \

Definition of breathless

1a : not breathing
b : dead
2a : panting or gasping for breath
b : gripped with emotion breathless in anticipation
c : intense, gripping breathless eagerness breathless prose
d : very rapid or strenuous go at a breathless pace
e : marked by intense or unremitting activity a breathless schedule
3 : oppressive because of no fresh air or breeze

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Other Words from breathless

breathlessly adverb
breathlessness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for breathless


close, stifling, stuffy, suffocating


airy, breezy, unstuffy

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Examples of breathless in a Sentence

They were breathless with anticipation. I watched them in breathless wonder. She describes the scene in breathless prose. He drove at a breathless pace.
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Recent Examples on the Web

After ninety minutes, Spicer was breathless and sweaty. Antonia Hitchens, The New Yorker, "Dancing with Sean Spicer," 17 Sep. 2019 Federer was forced to save one break point when serving for a place in the final and Nadal a match point with some of the most breathless tennis Center Court is likely to witness. Matias Grez, CNN, "Roger Federer beats Rafael Nadal to set up Wimbledon final with Novak Djokovic," 12 July 2019 My own wonder at the panoply of choices on a restaurant menu, or my dismay at the legions of homeless people overlooked on city streets, leaves me breathless at times. Kenneth E. Hartman, Harper's magazine, "Life after Life," 16 Sep. 2019 Sunset gazing from one of its slopes can leave you breathless. Harper's BAZAAR, "A Guide to Sicily’s Can’t-Miss Hotspots," 6 Aug. 2019 In Argentina, some transitions leave you breathless. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "From Buenos Aires to the Chilean Coast: A Road Trip Across South America," 22 Aug. 2019 Its ability to leave you breathless and exhausted while thrilling in equal capacity could scarcely have been better showcased by this contest. James Masters, CNN, "India crashes out to New Zealand in Cricket World Cup semifinal," 10 July 2019 On a breathless and brutal July night, West Fayette Street in downtown Baltimore seemed like the hottest block in a hot city. Jacques Kelly,, "Jacques Kelly: Baltimore summers before the advent of air conditioning were just 'Too Darn Hot'," 6 July 2019 At the end of the trail, let Jacob Ladder’s 180-step ascent leave you breathless. Jennifer Adler, National Geographic, "10 perfect ways to cool off in the U.S.," 27 June 2019

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

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

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Statistics for breathless

Last Updated

7 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for breathless

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

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More Definitions for breathless



English Language Learners Definition of breathless

: unable to take enough air into your lungs : breathing very hard because you are trying to get more air
: full of emotion
: very fast


breath·​less | \ ˈbreth-ləs How to pronounce breathless (audio) \

Kids Definition of breathless

1 : panting from exertion
2 : filled with excitement or tension a breathless silence

Other Words from breathless

breathlessly adverb


breath·​less | \ ˈbreth-ləs How to pronounce breathless (audio) \

Medical Definition of breathless

1 : panting or gasping for breath
2 : suffering from dyspnea

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More from Merriam-Webster on breathless

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with breathless

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for breathless

Spanish Central: Translation of breathless

Nglish: Translation of breathless for Spanish Speakers

Comments on breathless

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


to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

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