\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from sigh


sigher \ ˈsī(-​ə)r How to pronounce sigher (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for sigh

Synonyms: Verb


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Well, so far in the apparently cursed Mets uniform (no sighing out there, Mariners fans), Diaz has thrown 39.1 innings to a 4.81 ERA, with 22 saves and 61 strikeouts, proving once again that relievers’ results tend to be volatile., "Did the Seattle Mariners fleece the New York Mets?," 26 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 The rest of the state mostly favors whiskey and vodka, with Jack Daniels and Tito’s the top two in dollar sales and in units in 2016-17 (Fireball, sigh, was No. 1 in unit sales in 2015-16). Mark Dent,, "Forget craft beer - Philly loves brandy," 28 June 2018 But while the establishment has uttered a shaky (likely short-lived) sigh of relief, patriot-for-hire Steve Bannon’s valedictory yawp is reverberating across Europe. Isobel Thompson, The Hive, "Steve Bannon, Patriot for Hire, Says “Vaffanculo” in Italy," 1 June 2018 Shawn Butzin specializes in rustling country and twangy Americana, while Anthony Retka is a mood-setting, sigh-inducing folk singer. Jeff Milo, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit music: Magic Bag hosts Native Howl, Gasoline Gypsies; War & Treaty at Otus Supply," 31 May 2018 Elaine writes to Ben in a note about her future, and: sigh. Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic, "The Graduate 50 Years After Its Oscar Win," 3 Mar. 2018 And for everyone else to bury their heads in their hands and sigh. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Watch a Truck Pay for Its Huge Mistake in Torturous Slow Motion," 22 Sep. 2016 But more than anything, Swift gets to play with her attitude, dropping in signature vocal quirks over the toe-tapping beat, backgrounded by a chorus of dramatic sighs. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Let's Discuss the Lyrics to Every Song on Taylor Swift's Lover," 23 Aug. 2019 Then, with a deep sigh, Dokey waited for his three pursuers to converge on him. Larry Millett, Twin Cities, "From the archives: Murder-on-a-stick: A Pioneer Press serial mystery novel (Chapter 1)," 21 Aug. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sigh

Dictionary Entries near sigh








Statistics for sigh

Last Updated

20 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sigh

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


tired or exhausted

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!