\ 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 sigh (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for sigh

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of sigh in a Sentence

Verb 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 The last of which, which Ingram haphazardly threw to Gordon Hayward under New Orleans' own basket, caused Pelicans color commentator Antonio Daniels to sigh in exasperation on the broadcast. Christian Clark | Staff Writer,, "'It's got to stop': Pelicans have new playing style, but turnovers continue to cripple them," 9 Jan. 2021 One teacher said her students recognize propaganda and often sigh or make faces when encountering political texts. Liza Lin, WSJ, "Xi’s China Crafts Campaign to Boost Youth Patriotism," 30 Dec. 2020 During the ceremony, when Sineenat lay at the king’s feet to be anointed with holy water, Suthida looked away and appeared to sigh. Shashank Bengali, Los Angeles Times, "The Thai king’s companion vanished after upsetting the queen. Now she’s back in the spotlight," 18 Nov. 2020 And the actors bicker, sigh and roll their eyes like real relations do. Matthew J. Palm,, "IceHouse ‘Miracle’ is a comic yet sensitive holiday gift | Review," 15 Nov. 2020 When Holtby popped up with the puck in his possession, hearts sank across around the arena as Capitals supporters around the states surely sighed in relief. Tyler Horka,, "Stanley Cup Final: Capitals, Holtby Hang on in Game 2 to Even Series," 30 May 2018 That's where the experts come in to put us on the right track and save us from grabbing a manila envelope, stuffing, sighing, and calling it a day. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "5 Expert Tips for Organizing All Your Old Photos Right Now," 26 May 2020 The former vice president audibly sighed when the question came up, first denying knowing about an FBI investigation into Flynn in early 2017, and then correcting himself. Emily Larsen, Washington Examiner, "Joe Biden and the unmasking of Michael Flynn: What we know," 14 May 2020 Background voices – moans, murmurs, sighs – emerge and recede as if from a dream. Greg Kot,, "Album review wrap-up: Nick Cave transforms, the Highwomen rise, Tool returns, and more," 9 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun As many breathe a sigh of relief thatthe COVID-19 vaccine has reached the Golden State, tough questions are popping up over who should get the early inoculations — or as some groups have couched it: Whose lives are the most important? Winston Gieseke, USA TODAY, "In California: Who should get the vaccine? And PG&E is sued over another fire," 17 Dec. 2020 Our nation should no longer breathe a sigh of relief nor hold its breath in frustration when the winner of the presidential national popular vote happens to coincide with the winner of the Electoral College. Star Tribune, "Readers Write: Electoral College reform, Texas election lawsuit, the snickerdoodle cookie," 15 Dec. 2020 Along these lines, pure introverts who are truly timid and shy are likely to breathe a sigh of relief this holiday season, as COVID-19 risks provide a socially acceptable reason to decline invitations to holiday parties and get-togethers. David H. Rosmarin, Scientific American, "Managing Emotional Polarization This Holiday Season," 7 Dec. 2020 The ball bounced off several fingertips, but Ryan's pass ultimately fell to the turf — letting the Saints breathe a sigh of relief. Amie Just | Staff Writer,, "Saints land white-knuckle win over Falcons to clinch playoff berth; here's how it happened," 6 Dec. 2020 And what should have elicited little more than a shrug instead made one sigh in relief. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, "The electoral college vote was blissfully bureaucratic and boring," 15 Dec. 2020 Fans of the show will likely breathe a sigh of relief knowing that The Handmaid's Tale won't be met by an abrupt cancelation during its fourth season. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Handmaid's Tale Season 5: Everything We Know So Far," 12 Dec. 2020 The agency has already received enough toys to allow Santa’s elves a sigh of relief, says Paige McDaniel president and CEO Community Partners of Dallas. Dallas News, "Shoppers rally to make Community Partners of Dallas’ virtual toy drive a success," 11 Dec. 2020 The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the figure amounts to a large sigh of relief because university leaders and state officials feared a drop of as much as 20% as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Medical musicians, Ford’s Theatre, Cuomo’s book: News from around our 50 states," 15 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for sigh

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for sigh

Last Updated

21 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sigh.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for sigh


How to pronounce sigh (audio)

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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