\ 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 Some local Wisconsin officials may be breathing a sigh of relief. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, "From the Rose Garden to rallies: What large gatherings can teach us about the spread of coronavirus," 6 Oct. 2020 Denver fans loved seeing QB John Elway retire as the Super Bowl MVP ... and probably breathed a sigh of relief that the Broncos drew Atlanta instead of Minnesota on Super Sunday. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "The 55 greatest teams to play in the Super Bowl – and not all won Lombardi Trophy," 31 Jan. 2021 World leaders breathed an audible sigh of relief that the United States under President Joe Biden is rejoining the global effort to curb climate change, a cause that his predecessor had shunned. Frank Jordans, Star Tribune, "World leaders laud US return to climate fight under Biden," 21 Jan. 2021 The fine curds of the cheese have the same stupefying effect as high-end bed sheets, prompting you to close your eyes and sigh. Soleil Ho,, "One of the Bay Area’s most captivating pizzerias is a Roman spot where airy, bubbly crusts reign," 21 Jan. 2021 Joe Biden take the inauguration stage, a sigh of relief washed over the nation. Michelle Santiago Cortés,, "Today Was The Day Bernie Sanders Became President — Of Memes," 20 Jan. 2021 The Astros bullpen had a front-row seat to the catch and cheered; Greinke let out a visible sigh of relief on the mound. Beth Harris,, "Bang! Bang! Astros thump away vs Oakland, return to ALCS," 8 Oct. 2020 Many California grape farmers will breathe a sigh of relief at the news that the deal has been finalized. Esther Mobley,, "What the wine world's mega-deal between Gallo and Constellation means for supermarket wine," 7 Jan. 2021 And for now, as South Australia reviews information provided to its contact tracers, residents are breathing a sigh of relief at regaining their freedom to exercise, or walk their dogs. Washington Post, "Australia suffers its own ‘Pizzagate’ — with a side of coronavirus," 20 Nov. 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 7 Mar. 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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