\ 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 Ramirez muttered and sighed as the teens, with their baby faces and coltish bodies, bumbled a run-through. Diana Marcum, Los Angeles Times, "Gay shopkeeper stands his ground in a Central Valley town, carving out space for others," 20 Aug. 2019 The final frames of the Season 2 finale had the lovebirds rejoicing at their latest reunion, while those who prefer her professional endeavors sighed at the slip-up. Ashley Lee,, "Romantic comedies like ‘Younger’ leave ‘happily ever after’ at the altar," 6 Sep. 2019 What followed was a pause of about a minute, where the woman occasionally sighed and mumbled to herself. Nate Gartrell, The Mercury News, "Contra Costa DA unveils case against former public defender clerk accused of witness murder plot," 25 July 2019 Senghor, who wore a yellow dress shirt to court, sighed heavily in relief after hearing the verdict. Justin Phillips,, "Bissap Baobab chef receives probation, no prison term, in immigration case," 22 Aug. 2019 More than 10,000 people in Appalachia will sigh with relief this month after two donors from the region helped nonprofit RIP Medical Debt purchase and forgive $10 million of medical debt. Phil Mccausland, NBC News, "10,000 in Appalachia will see medical debt forgiven, highlighting national issue," 27 July 2019 Natalie Morales plays Manning’s disapproving daughter, Nicole, who exists mainly to sigh at her dad’s addiction to his job and his brawn-over-brains approach to it. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Stuber Is an Old-School Buddy Comedy Made for 2019," 12 July 2019 As a result, Americans benefited from a period of prosperity and domestic collaboration while the world sighed a breath of relief as the Cold War drew to a close. WSJ, "Empathy Makes Presidents More Effective," 18 Nov. 2018 My boyfriend sighed, smiled ruefully and squeezed my hand, and then the host of the party came over to yank me onto the dance floor. Stephanie Dolgoff, Good Housekeeping, "Why We Have to Talk About What Happened in High School," 27 Sep. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But with Stones back for the clash at Carrow Road, the Spanish boss can breathe a sigh of relief as his side take on Daniel Farke's Canaries, who boast surprise package of the season Teemu Pukki in their ranks., "Man City Receive Double Injury Boost With Defensive Duo Fit for Premier League Clash With Norwich," 12 Sep. 2019 For a tense 13 days that October, people across the nation held their collective breath, but were able to breathe a sigh of relief when the terms were agreed upon. Linda Gandee/special To,, "Veterans get together at Bay Village post to remember, socialize and mend fences but numbers are dwindling," 26 Aug. 2019 Many Georgians breathed a sigh of relief as Mr Ivanishvili demonised his predecessor, whose methods often struck fear into the populace, and promised to normalise relations with Russia, which Mr Saakashvili had infuriated. The Economist, "Russia plays games with Georgia," 6 July 2019 The two friends, who have known each other for 47 years, put their arms around each other and breathed sighs of relief. Giulia Mcdonnell Nieto Del Rio,, "Convenience store cleans up mess from first earthquake, only have to do it all over again," 6 July 2019 Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond who specializes in federal courts, said other defendants shouldn't breathe a sigh of relief as a result of Vandemoer's sentence. Joey Garrison, USA TODAY, "Analysis: Those in college scandal could still go to prison, despite first defendant skating," 13 June 2019 Houston football fans can give a sigh of relief knowing the city will still be represented in this year's Super Bowl despite the Texans missing a playoff berth earlier in the season. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Houston police K9s providing security at 2018 Super Bowl," 25 Jan. 2018 There may be a collective sigh of relief in Puerto Rico this morning after Hurricane Dorian grazed the Caribbean island, but Floridians need to watch out. Petra Cahill, NBC News, "Hurricane Dorian skims Puerto Rico, Dem debate stage narrows & Prof. Matthew McConaughey? The Morning Rundown," 29 Aug. 2019 Like the speakers, the touchpad is a spitting image of the original Blade 15’s, which brought me a sigh of relief. Stefan Etienne, The Verge, "Razer Blade 15 dual storage review: too much compromise," 8 Nov. 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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Statistics for sigh

Last Updated

3 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for sigh

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

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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

Comments on sigh

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a calculated move

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