breath·​tak·​ing | \ˈbreth-ˌtā-kiŋ \

Definition of breathtaking 

1 : causing one to breathe rapidly or with difficulty : making one out of breath a breathtaking pain in her side

2a : exciting, thrilling a breathtaking race

b : very great : astonishing his breathtaking ignorance

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Other Words from breathtaking

breathtakingly \ ˈbreth-​ˌtā-​kiŋ-​lē \ adverb

Examples of breathtaking in a Sentence

The train raced past with breathtaking speed. They gave a breathtaking performance. The view of the mountains was breathtaking. a scene of breathtaking beauty The scope of the error is breathtaking.
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Recent Examples on the Web

For an additional detour, hop over to Savai’i, Samoa’s largest island, known for its breathtaking scenery. USA TODAY, "Deal watch: Seven nights in Fiji and Samoa for $2,349," 12 July 2018 Even in an era when there were no electronic-media delays and when the average game was more than an hour faster than today’s (1:47 in 1920 compared to 3:05 in 2017), 51 minutes was a breathtaking pace. Frank Fitzpatrick,, "When and how the Phillies once played nine innings in 51 minutes," 9 July 2018 Yesterday, on the last day of Paris Couture Week, Valentino staged a runway show reminding us all the power of dreamy, breathtaking couture gowns fit for a fashion fantasy. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Gowns At Valentino's Couture Show Will Take Your Breath Away," 5 July 2018 Here are seven breathtaking photos from Wilson’s race week through the Rocky Mountains in the clouds. Michelle R. Martinelli, For The Win, "7 breathtaking photos of ex-MLB pitcher's sports car race on Pikes Peak," 26 June 2018 The view from the top of the mountain is ever more breathtaking when your breath has actually been taken away by the climb. Ben Teitelbaum,, "Why I Don't Want LeBron James on the Lakers," 2 July 2018 Rent kayaks at Epic Charters and follow the shoreline out to Decision Point's breathtaking campground, which has bear boxes and cleared tent sites. Yoshina Okamoto, Anchorage Daily News, "Want to get off the beaten path in Alaska? Get on the water instead," 2 May 2018 The dancers—who ranged in age from young children to adults—took the stage to show off their breathtaking display of gymnastic abilities. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Watch the Incredible Performance on 'America's Got Talent' That Earned a Golden Buzzer," 30 May 2018 In a breathtaking display of bad timing, a team that shot the most 3-pointers in NBA history had their worst shooting night of the season. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "The Warriors and Cavs Will Meet Again. Here’s Why This Time Is Different," 29 May 2018

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

1877, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for breathtaking

Last Updated

21 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for breathtaking

The first known use of breathtaking was in 1877

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More Definitions for breathtaking



English Language Learners Definition of breathtaking

: very exciting

: very great or surprising


breath·​tak·​ing | \ˈbreth-ˌtā-kiŋ \

Kids Definition of breathtaking

: very exciting or beautiful

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playful or foolish behavior

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