breath·​tak·​ing | \ ˈbreth-ˌtā-kiŋ How to pronounce breathtaking (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from breathtaking

breathtakingly \ ˈbreth-​ˌtā-​kiŋ-​lē How to pronounce breathtakingly (audio) \ 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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Beth is an avid adventure hiker and few places combine breathtaking views and potential danger like Hawaii. Don Norcross, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Over-The-Line a homecoming for couple now living in Hawaii," 11 July 2019 Headliners include: Fitz and the Tantrums, Melissa Etheridge, Old Dominion and more! • Finish the night off right: Take in breathtaking views of the entire fair experience with a ride on the SkyGlider. Brian Sodoma, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "There’s something for everyone at the Wisconsin State Fair," 11 July 2019 Kick back and relax on the wave wall and take in the breathtaking view. Catie Wegman,, "Picture perfect: 12 South Florida spots that are sure to make you Instagram famous," 9 July 2019 The Canyons at Scenic Loop, one of north San Antonio’s top-selling new custom-home communities for the last seven years, is offering half-acre to 3-plus-acre estate homesites with breathtaking views of downtown San Antonio, priced from the $90,000s. Houston Chronicle, "The Canyons at Scenic Loop offers homesites with breathtaking views," 30 June 2019 Spacious villas are equipped with private infinity pools and breathtaking views of Phang Nga Bay, though the resort’s main feature is its private beach – a gorgeous stretch of white sand studded with loungers and umbrellas. Alisha Prakash, USA TODAY, "9 remote resorts in Thailand: Luxurious seclusion for when you want to get lost," 20 June 2019 Take in breathtaking views of the icy southern walls of Mont Blanc. National Geographic, "Tour du Mont Blanc," 17 June 2019 No other mountain offers such breathtaking and diverse views each day of an ascent. National Geographic, "Beyond Everest: 9 peaks to summit in a lifetime," 29 May 2019 Pro tip: The view of the sun rising over the harbor from The White Elephant’s lawn is breathtaking and fully worth setting a 5:15 a.m. alarm. Jaimie Potters, Marie Claire, "Where to Stay, Eat, and Explore in Nantucket, Massachusetts," 10 May 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of breathtaking

1877, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about breathtaking

Statistics for breathtaking

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for breathtaking

The first known use of breathtaking was in 1877

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for breathtaking



English Language Learners Definition of breathtaking

: very exciting
: very great or surprising


breath·​tak·​ing | \ ˈbreth-ˌtā-kiŋ How to pronounce breathtaking (audio) \

Kids Definition of breathtaking

: very exciting or beautiful

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on breathtaking

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


food or victuals

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!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!