\ ˈsī How to pronounce sigh (audio) \
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

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Other Words from sigh


sigher \ ˈsī(-​ə)r How to pronounce sigher (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for sigh

Synonyms: Verb


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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Michigan State football – and baseball – had reason to sigh in relief on Sunday. Kirkland Crawford, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State football gets Adam Berghorst, who passes on pro baseball," 7 July 2019 When a reporter mentioned that his slider was virtually untouchable this season, Garrett sighed and turned to his locker to knock on wood. Bobby Nightengale,, "Cincinnati Reds reliever Amir Garrett out to prove he's one of the best in baseball," 8 June 2019 Belinda walks with a limp and wears giant flowered shirts and sighs a lot. Chicago Tribune,, "Algren Award finalist: "The Sweeper of Hair" by Karin Lin-Greenberg," 2 June 2018 But Peter Kavinsky is fictional, and as such, his ability to spin out endless new content for the internet to sigh over is limited. Constance Grady, Vox, "Noah Centineo and the rise of the wholesome internet boyfriend, explained," 28 Sep. 2018 Darryl Wrest: Brittany [sighs] found herself -- kind of between a rock and a hard place. CBS News, "The search for a missing military wife takes NCIS agents into a dark world," 5 June 2018 Yossarian sighs, an acid echo of Milo’s hero, Calvin Coolidge. John Timpane,, "'Catch-22' catches the spirit of the book at Curio Theatre Company in West Philly," 9 May 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

While no calves were born in that year, the right whale community breathed a sigh of relief that the deaths had been curbed. Nick Hawkins, National Geographic, "6 recent deaths push rare whales closer to extinction," 11 July 2019 For the moment, the region can breathe a sigh of relief. Steve Mollman, Quartz, "Southern California’s strongest earthquake in 20 years happened in a desert," 6 July 2019 Weary New Jerseyites can’t yet breathe a sigh of relief. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "No Millionaire’s Tax in New Jersey," 2 July 2019 When Germany agreed to an armistice on November 11, 1918, marking an end to World War I, all of Europe and its entangled colonies breathed a sigh of relief. Michael Waters, Smithsonian, "Europe Reacts to the Treaty of Versailles, in Photos," 27 June 2019 Some of those bad actors must have breathed a sigh of relief two years ago. Jon Chesto,, "Former union boss continues crusade at Harvard with new labor report," 25 June 2019 Nigeria breathed a sigh of relief, until the referee signalled a big rectangle with her hands and pointed back to the spot., "The Controversial Women's World Cup Refereeing Is Good, Actually," 18 June 2019 And those who live around him breathe a sigh of relief. Amos Oz, Harper's magazine, "Setting the World to Rights," 10 Apr. 2019 Almost every entry in Killing and Dying, which is drawn in a minimalist style with a subdued color palette, concludes with a scene that’s still holding something back, like an unfinished sigh. The Atlantic, "What We’re Reading This Summer," 28 June 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.

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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

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Statistics for sigh

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sigh

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

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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 How to pronounce sigh (audio) \
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.

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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).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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