\ 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

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 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 During one hand, a woman shielded her face with cards when an opponent sighed heavily. Jack Healy, New York Times, "Bridge Was Their Passion. Then People Started to Die.," 29 Apr. 2020 Soon, wakes from the boat traffic began splashing onto the rocks at the base of the bluff with sighing noises. Ian Frazier, The New Yorker, "Bringing in the Comfort," 6 Apr. 2020 The song is a bouncy bop of a tune with a sighing ’50s chorus. Raisa Bruner, Time, "The 5 Best New Songs of the Week, from The Weeknd to Perfume Genius," 24 Mar. 2020 Gibeley sighs, but the change doesn’t fluster Fall., "acko Fall needs a tuxedo.," 12 Dec. 2019 Scholars, even those who dig the whimsicality, might sigh at what bits have been left out. Christopher Arnott,, "Review: Long Wharf redefines ‘Pride and Prejudice’ with a delightfully sassy, multicultural staging," 5 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The family was able to breathe a big sigh of relief Saturday, James said. Savannah Eadens, USA TODAY, "73-year-old woman survives coronavirus after 51 days in intensive care," 17 May 2020 Newborn Joris turned his head to peer at the howling scientist, let out a deep sigh and fell asleep. Sophie Hardach, New York Times, "Do Babies Cry in Different Languages?," 15 Apr. 2020 Some may have felt a big sigh of relief that Eddie is gone—but NCIS: NOLA seems to be hinting that the repercussions will haunt Pride well into next year. Megan Stein, Country Living, "'NCIS: New Orleans' Sparked Wild Theories About Why Pride Is Seeing a Man in a Red Suit," 21 Dec. 2019 Years ago, when Garcia-Amaya was still in business school, his wife Jenny came home from a normal day at the office and set her bag down, letting out a sigh. Kristine Gill, Fortune, "You’re the breadwinner in the relationship. Now what?," 24 Apr. 2020 In Israel, the transition is as much a cultural event as a religious one: businesses temporarily shutter and families convene as the country lets out a collective sigh, as if releasing the week’s stresses. Debra Kamin, Condé Nast Traveler, "In Tel Aviv, a City-Wide, Socially Distanced Shabbat," 27 Mar. 2020 If Castonzo indeed returns, Ballard will be able to let out a big sigh of relief. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Jim Irsay says 'strong likelihood' Anthony Castonzo returns, unsure about Adam Vinatieri," 23 Feb. 2020 Somewhere, Chase Rice lets out a deep, wearied sigh. Lisa Bonos, Washington Post, "A disastrous night of hometown visits on ‘The Bachelor’," 18 Feb. 2020 Congregation Bat-Tzion Overseer Daniel Perek let out a sigh of relief Monday night after the Oak Ridge North City Council approved his request to expand his synagogue. Michelle Iracheta, Houston Chronicle, "Oak Ridge North approves expansion for synagogue," 11 Apr. 2018

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

1 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sigh.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on sigh

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sigh

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sigh

Spanish Central: Translation of sigh

Nglish: Translation of sigh for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sigh for Arabic Speakers

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