\ 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


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

But Peter Kavinsky is fictional, and as such, his ability to spin out endless new content for the internet to sigh over is limited. Constance Grady, Vox, "Noah Centineo and the rise of the wholesome internet boyfriend, explained," 28 Sep. 2018 Darryl Wrest: Brittany [sighs] found herself -- kind of between a rock and a hard place. CBS News, "The search for a missing military wife takes NCIS agents into a dark world," 5 June 2018 Yossarian sighs, an acid echo of Milo’s hero, Calvin Coolidge. John Timpane,, "'Catch-22' catches the spirit of the book at Curio Theatre Company in West Philly," 9 May 2018 When Kuznetsov scored against Pittsburgh, Ovechkin closed his eyes, tilted back his head and sighed in relief. Alex Prewitt,, "The Great Wait Is Finally Over: After 13 Seasons, Alex Ovechkin Is a Stanley Cup Champion," 11 June 2018 Weepiness Level: Sad sighing with one really good tear. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "15 Sad Movies for When You Need Something to Cry About," 3 Oct. 2018 As a model in a majestic explosion of pale green tulle stalked slowly across the stark, airy space like a peacock doing an intricate mating dance, Feiping sighed audibly. Harper's BAZAAR, "Crazy Rich Couture," 15 Aug. 2018 MoviePass users sighed with relief, but also a bit of trepidation. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Why MoviePass is the future — even if it doesn’t survive," 6 July 2018 In flashback, there was William the philanthropist, hosting fancy fundraisers and sighing as nasty rich people blathered on at him. The Atlantic, "Westworld: Who Cares About the Man in Black?," 17 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

These days Houstonians just drive by that barren plot of land currently owned by the Houston Livestock and Rodeo and sigh, remembering days gone by. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, "Remembering WaterWorld, Houston's chlorinated oasis next to AstroWorld," 15 May 2018 Maybe his competitors notice Daly’s primping and preening and sigh, if with a smile. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "2018 Winter Olympics: U.S. skeleton racer John Daly is 'man with the $1 million haircut'," 15 Feb. 2018 Candidates for statewide office in California can breathe a sigh of relief: Liberal activist Tom Steyer is not running for office in 2018. Emily Cadei, sacbee, "Steyer won’t run in 2018, but leaves door open for 2020," 8 Jan. 2018 After Jorah's suggestion that Dany should fly north on Drogon, solo, is shot down (sigh, excuse the dead dragon pun), his face crumbles in defeat. Sarah Schreiber, Good Housekeeping, "10 Things You Missed During the Season 7 Finale of "Game of Thrones"," 28 Aug. 2017 Ruth Bader Ginsburg fans can breathe a sigh of relief—despite a recent health scare, the Justice is doing just fine. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "RBG Filmmakers Report That Ruth Bader Ginsburg Is "Strong and Cheerful"," 22 Jan. 2019 Friends who saw Ben's rapid decline are breathing a huge sigh of relief. Sasha Savitsky, Fox News, "Jennifer Garner 'won't give up' on Ben Affleck despite troubled star's cheating, substance abuse," 24 Aug. 2018 When Megan Mullally was announced as host of the 2019 Screen Actors Guild Awards yesterday, Hollywood breathed a collective sigh of relief. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "If Megan Mullally Can’t Get a SAG Awards Dress, Who Can?," 14 Dec. 2018 But planners and environmental protection advocates said the UMass findings brought about a collective sigh of relief with its recommendation to instead dedicate $2 billion to neighborhood protection efforts. Milton J. Valencia,, "The next Big Dig? UMass study warns Boston Harbor barrier not worth cost or effort," 30 May 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

24 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sigh

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

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sigh

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sigh

Spanish Central: Translation of sigh

Nglish: Translation of sigh for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sigh for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sigh

What made you want to look up sigh? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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