\ 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 As Oakland schools reopen, students rush into classrooms and parents sigh with relief. Taylor Kate Brown, San Francisco Chronicle, "Bay Briefing: Excited about expanded vaccine eligibility? You and lots of other Bay Area residents," 31 Mar. 2021 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The report also cautions that the world cannot yet breathe a sigh of relief despite rapid progress on vaccine development. Katie Bo Williams And Zachary Cohen, CNN, "US intelligence community warns of devastating long-term impact of coronavirus pandemic," 13 Apr. 2021 If that’s the case, there’s no risk that the fish reproduced in the wild and everyone can breathe a sigh of relief. Mike Wehner, BGR, "Florida fears it may have a giant invasive monster on its hands," 25 Mar. 2021 Antetokounmpo could breathe a sigh of relief a moment later when Theis' 3-pointer bounced off the rim. Steve Megargee, Star Tribune, "Middleton, Bucks beat Celtics 121-119 for 8th straight win," 24 Mar. 2021 But jobless Californians who depend on that money can’t yet breathe a sigh of relief. Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle, "Could EDD issues cause Californians to wait for extended unemployment benefits?," 12 Mar. 2021 People who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 can breathe a sigh of relief. Michael Reschke, The Indianapolis Star, "How long will vaccine immunity last? At least several months, but studies still being done," 5 Mar. 2021 As the semester ended right before Christmas, there was a sigh of relief. Star Tribune, "Readers Write: Inauguration Day, returning to school, Minnesota COVID vaccine rollout," 19 Jan. 2021 Speaking of the 2010 Oscars, though, our new biggest movie star in the world, Bale, still wins his Oscar for The Fighter, having drawn massive acclaim for his change-of-pace performance (and, sigh, weight loss). Joe Reid, Vulture, "What Happens in the Mirror Universe Where Darren Aronofsky Made Batman Instead of Christopher Nolan?," 12 Jan. 2021 Investors are also breathing a huge sigh of relief that Democrats failed to sweep the election -- an outcome that looked to be in the cards just a few months ago. Matt Egan, CNN, "The oil industry narrowly avoided an election disaster. Now it's showing signs of life," 1 Dec. 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

3 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sigh.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sigh

Nglish: Translation of sigh for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sigh for Arabic Speakers

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