breathtaking

adjective
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

Earlier this month, the couple began posting breathtaking photos and videos of themselves soaking up the sun in Bora Bora (with a quick pit stop in Tahiti...casual) on a honeymoon worth envying. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Christina And Ant Anstead's Love Story Proves They Were Meant To Be," 17 Jan. 2019 That breathtaking simplicity is in marked contrast with stars or planets, which come in many shapes and sizes and can feature different chemical compositions, interior layering and atmospheres. Frank Wilczek, WSJ, "Black Holes May Have ‘Hair’ That We Can See," 3 Jan. 2019 The power couple’s multi-ceremony international nuptials were a thrilling mix of glamorous fashion and breathtaking locales. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas End Winter Wedding Season With a Bang," 21 Dec. 2018 The scenery is lovely, all autumn foliage and breathtaking mountains; the map is huge and decorated with all kinds of seemingly unique locales; and you’re being led by holotape on a journey that promises to be epic. Sarah Leboeuf, Ars Technica, "Two weeks in, Fallout 76 is a lonely, glitchy, flawed mess," 28 Nov. 2018 Returning to his 2016 campaign playbook, the president delivered fiery speeches that drew massive and enthusiastic crowds but contained a breathtaking barrage of falsehoods, invective and demagoguery. Isaac Stanley-becker, The Seattle Times, "Republicans keep control of the Senate; Democrats claim House majority," 7 Nov. 2018 There’s an underwater sequence that looks absolutely breathtaking and dancing penguins appear to remind us that this is, indeed, a magical Disney production. Dan Barna, Glamour, "Emily Blunt Is Absolute Magic in the First Full Mary Poppins Returns Trailer," 17 Sep. 2018 The deconstruction of language is breathtaking, the interrogation of symbols startling. Constance Grady, Vox, "The Alice Walker anti-Semitism controversy, explained," 20 Dec. 2018 While the access roads are sometimes closed due to snow, the stunning blue view is breathtaking, and there’s no more refreshing swim in the summer. Ella Riley-adams, Vogue, "Why This Oregon Town Could Be the Next Napa," 8 Aug. 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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Last Updated

11 Feb 2019

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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

breathtaking

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of breathtaking

: very exciting
: very great or surprising

breathtaking

adjective
breath·​tak·​ing | \ ˈbreth-ˌtā-kiŋ \

Kids Definition of breathtaking

: very exciting or beautiful

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