breath

noun \ ˈbreth \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of breath

1 a :air filled with a fragrance or odor
b :a slight indication :suggestion
  • the faintest breath of scandal
2 a :the faculty of breathing
  • recovering his breath after the race
b :an act of breathing
  • fought to the last breath
c :opportunity or time to breathe :respite
3 :a slight breeze
4 a :air inhaled and exhaled in breathing
  • bad breath
b :something (such as moisture on a cold surface) produced by breath or breathing
5 :a spoken sound :utterance
breath of fresh air
:a welcome or refreshing change
in one breath or in the same breath
:almost simultaneously
out of breath
:breathing very rapidly (as from strenuous exercise)
under one's breath
:so as to be barely audible
  • mumbled something under his breath

Examples of breath in a Sentence

  1. When Oscar Wilde allegedly gestured at the garish wallpaper in his cheap Parisian hotel room and announced with his dying breath, "Either it goes or I go," he was exhibiting something beyond an irrepressibly brilliant wit. —Tom RobbinsHarper'sSeptember 2004
  2. I ski as far as I can and stop (in these relatively low-altitude coastal mountains, you don't stop for breath the way you sometimes do in Colorado; here you stop when your legs demand a break) … —Lito Tejada-FloresSkiingFebruary 1999
  3. gum that freshens your breath

  4. It's so cold outside that I can see my breath.

  5. My mad dash for the bus left me gasping for breath.

  6. I took a long breath before speaking again.

Recent Examples of breath from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'breath.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of breath

Middle English breth, from Old English brǣth; akin to Old High German brādam breath, and perhaps to Old English beorma yeast — more at barm


BREATH Defined for English Language Learners

breath

noun

Definition of breath for English Language Learners

  • : the air that you take into your lungs and send out from your lungs when you breathe : air that is inhaled and exhaled in breathing

  • : the ability to breathe freely

  • : an amount of air that you take into your lungs


BREATH Defined for Kids

breath

noun \ ˈbreth \

Definition of breath for Students

1 :ability to breathe :ease of breathing
  • I lost my breath for a moment.
2 :air taken in or sent out by the lungs
  • Hold your breath.
  • It's so cold I can see my breath.
3 :a slight breeze
  • a breath of wind
out of breath
:breathing very rapidly as a result of hard exercise
under someone's breath
:very quietly
  • “Don't blow this for me,” Dad said under his breath.
  • —Jack Gantos, Joey Pigza Loses Control

Medical Dictionary

breath

noun \ ˈbreth \

medical Definition of breath

1 a :the faculty of breathing
  • recovering her breath after the race
b :an act or an instance of breathing or inhaling
2 a :air inhaled and exhaled in breathing
  • bad breath
b :something (as moisture on a cold surface) produced by breath or breathing
out of breath
:breathing very rapidly (as from strenuous exercise)


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