\ˈsī \
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 \ 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

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 When Annie goes home and proposes the same routine, Steve scoffs and sighs but, to placate her, goes along with it. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "“Hereditary” Delivers a New Kind of Horror," 7 June 2018 When Romeo did a split second, slightest-of-fake grab for the Vanderbilt hat, the state of Indiana got ready to sigh. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, Indianapolis Star, "Why Romeo Langford means so much to basketball in Indiana," 4 May 2018 One timejump-20-minutes-into-this-film later, Han sighs his way through some grim, Full Metal Jacket-y battlefields before noticing potential fellow smugglers. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Solo film review: Best when it embraces its favorite action-movie urges," 24 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Since apologizing to her sister Meghan Markle on live television back in October, Samantha seemingly took a step back from the limelight to leave the Duchess of Sussex alone, and royal family fans breathed a sigh of relief. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle's Sister Samantha is Celebrating the Royal Baby By Releasing a Tell-All Book," 19 Nov. 2018 So diehard Project Runway fans can breathe a sigh of relief, because the Klum-Gunn dream team will continue over on Amazon. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn Are Leaving Project Runway and the Internet Cannot Cope," 8 Sep. 2018 With your planetary ruler now direct, your libido and romantic forcefield can breathe a sigh of sensuous relief. Bess Matassa, Teen Vogue, "Monthly Lovescopes September 2018," 1 Sep. 2018 Riccardo has constructed nine modest guest cottages across the property that Elena rents out; the standout among them is the timber-and-iron Treehouse, a one-room studio on high stilts with sigh-inducing views of the Chianti hills. Maria Shollenbarger, ELLE Decor, "An Italian Design Firm Transforms Discreet-but-Luxe Kitchens with a Timeless Florentine Aesthetic," 18 Oct. 2018 The trailer ends with a visibly distraught Frank, who lets out a worried sigh while sitting at his desk. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "The New 'Blue Bloods' Trailer for Season 9 Is Here and It's So Intense," 26 Sep. 2018 USA TODAY Sports MOSCOW — As Mexican tears fell over yet another frustrating World Cup exit, so too did a sigh of relief flow through the soccer community in the United States. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Why USMNT fans should celebrate Mexico's World Cup loss," 3 July 2018 Kelsey Mitchell let out a sigh and looked down at the locker-room floor. Jordan Guskey, Indianapolis Star, "Phoenix Mercury trounce Indiana Fever, 95-77," 29 June 2018 Frustration for Brazil, and a sigh of relief for Costa Rica., "Brazil 2-0 Costa Rica: Late Double Makes Victory Look Easy for Brazil In Hard Fought Encounter," 22 June 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.

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

1 Dec 2018

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.

: to make a sound like sighing

: to say (something) with a sigh


\ˈsī \
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).


a typical or ideal example

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!