breath·​less | \ˈbreth-ləs \

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

In their breathless escape from the actual escape room, Grande managed to hurt her hand. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "I'm Scared Just Watching Ariana Grande Complete This Haunted Escape Room," 31 Oct. 2018 Plenty of factors could be behind these breathless wake-ups, ranging from normal sleep patterns to more serious health conditions. Korin Miller, SELF, "7 Reasons You Might Wake Up Gasping for Air," 2 Oct. 2018 Paris, France Millions of breathless words have been written about French style. Condé Nast Traveler, "What to Pack for Europe: Outfits for Rome, Paris, Lisbon and Beyond," 11 Sep. 2018 In the months since her departure from the French house, Philophiles have organized with Instagram accounts, blogs, and breathless tweets all dedicated to her aesthetic. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Travis Scott Brings Back a Classic (And Kanye-Approved) Piece of Philo-Era Celine," 12 Nov. 2018 There has been a lot of breathless reporting out there that has turned out not to be correct. Fox News, "Ingraham: When the inmates run the immigration asylum," 26 July 2018 Take the annual release of the NFL schedule, which happens in a lull period before the NFL draft, designed to give some breathless coverage for the programming-hungry NFL Network. Peter King,, "NFL Schedule Release: Inside the Process That Gave Us the 2018 256-Game Slate," 19 Apr. 2018 Professor Cheung said that the carbon-dioxide concentration in air was generally no more than about 0.2 percent, and that a concentration of more than about 5 percent would cause a person to feel breathless. New York Times, "8 Saved, 5 to Go in Thai Cave Rescue," 9 July 2018 The big feelings at the hook will leave you breathless. Kat Bein, Billboard, "The 5 Best Bazzi Remixes," 6 July 2018

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

1 Dec 2018

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 \

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 \

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

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living or existing for a long time

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