\ ˈsī \
sighed; sighing; sighs

Definition of sigh

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to take a deep audible breath (as in weariness or relief)
2 : to make a sound like sighing wind sighing in the branches
3 : grieve, yearn sighing for days gone by

transitive verb

1 : to express by sighs
2 archaic : to utter sighs over : mourn



Definition of sigh (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an often involuntary act of sighing especially when expressing an emotion or feeling (such as weariness or relief)
2 : the sound of gently moving or escaping air sighs of the summer breeze

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from sigh


sigher \ ˈsī(-​ə)r \ noun

Synonyms for sigh

Synonyms: Verb


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of sigh in a Sentence


He sighed with relief when he saw that he passed the test. The wind sighed through the trees. “I may never see my old home again,” she sighed.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

When Kuznetsov scored against Pittsburgh, Ovechkin closed his eyes, tilted back his head and sighed in relief. Alex Prewitt,, "The Great Wait Is Finally Over: After 13 Seasons, Alex Ovechkin Is a Stanley Cup Champion," 11 June 2018 Weepiness Level: Sad sighing with one really good tear. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "15 Sad Movies for When You Need Something to Cry About," 3 Oct. 2018 As a model in a majestic explosion of pale green tulle stalked slowly across the stark, airy space like a peacock doing an intricate mating dance, Feiping sighed audibly. Harper's BAZAAR, "Crazy Rich Couture," 15 Aug. 2018 MoviePass users sighed with relief, but also a bit of trepidation. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Why MoviePass is the future — even if it doesn’t survive," 6 July 2018 In flashback, there was William the philanthropist, hosting fancy fundraisers and sighing as nasty rich people blathered on at him. The Atlantic, "Westworld: Who Cares About the Man in Black?," 17 June 2018 When Annie goes home and proposes the same routine, Steve scoffs and sighs but, to placate her, goes along with it. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "“Hereditary” Delivers a New Kind of Horror," 7 June 2018 When Romeo did a split second, slightest-of-fake grab for the Vanderbilt hat, the state of Indiana got ready to sigh. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, Indianapolis Star, "Why Romeo Langford means so much to basketball in Indiana," 4 May 2018 One timejump-20-minutes-into-this-film later, Han sighs his way through some grim, Full Metal Jacket-y battlefields before noticing potential fellow smugglers. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Solo film review: Best when it embraces its favorite action-movie urges," 24 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

When Megan Mullally was announced as host of the 2019 Screen Actors Guild Awards yesterday, Hollywood breathed a collective sigh of relief. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "If Megan Mullally Can’t Get a SAG Awards Dress, Who Can?," 14 Dec. 2018 But planners and environmental protection advocates said the UMass findings brought about a collective sigh of relief with its recommendation to instead dedicate $2 billion to neighborhood protection efforts. Milton J. Valencia,, "The next Big Dig? UMass study warns Boston Harbor barrier not worth cost or effort," 30 May 2018 When Optima opted to continue to offer plans in and around Charlottesville, state insurance regulators breathed a collective sigh of relief. Rachel Bluth, Washington Post, "Peak Health Plan Premiums Give Rise To Activism — And Unconventional Solutions," 25 Apr. 2018 The world breathed a collective sigh of relief after the games came and went this year without incident. Brian Bennett, Time, "Will Trump Make a Bad Deal With North Korea?," 18 Apr. 2018 Gutierrez sprinted toward the sideline to celebrate his MLS breakthrough, and Sporting KC (1-1-0) breathed a collective sigh of relief for a disaster avoided. Sam Mcdowell, kansascity, "Sporting KC newcomers score three, club wins wild one in Chicago for first 2018 win | The Kansas City Star," 10 Mar. 2018 Still, Sunday’s vote met with a collective sigh of relief in the corridors of power in Berlin and neighboring countries, which have been impatient for the continent’s most influential country to turn its attention back to the world. Katrin Bennhold And Melissa Eddy, New York Times, "Angela Merkel Spared Disaster, and German Coalition Talks to Continue," 21 Jan. 2018 American partners in the deal including Russia, China, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and the European Union breathed a collective sigh of relief that the U.S. did not withdraw. Margaret Brennan, CBS News, "Iran deal deadline approaching, as Trump weighs options," 9 Jan. 2018 Hall's eye-rolls and audible sighs as the only woman in the room anchors the show to a tenuous set of morals, or even politics, and serves as a layer of 2019 self-awareness placed over the 1987 locker room dialogue. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Black Monday on Showtime: Maybe Wall Street Isn't Funny Anymore," 21 Jan. 2019

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


13th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sigh


Middle English sihen, alteration of sichen, from Old English sīcan; akin to Middle Dutch versiken to sigh

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sigh

Dictionary Entries near sigh








Statistics for sigh

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sigh

The first known use of sigh was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sigh



English Language Learners Definition of sigh

: to take in and let out a long, loud breath in a way that shows you are bored, disappointed, relieved, etc.
literary : to make a sound like sighing
: to say (something) with a sigh


\ ˈsī \
sighed; sighing

Kids Definition of sigh

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to take or let out a long loud breath often as an expression of sadness or weariness
2 : to make a sound like sighing Wind was sighing in the branches.
3 : to say with a sigh “Oh, dear,” she sighed.



Kids Definition of sigh (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act or a sound of taking or letting out a long loud breath She finished with a sigh of relief.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on sigh

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sigh

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sigh

Spanish Central: Translation of sigh

Nglish: Translation of sigh for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sigh for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sigh

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


marked by fawning attentiveness

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Add Diction

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!