with bated breath

Definition of with bated breath

:in a nervous and excited state anticipating what will happen
  • They waited for the answer on their application with bated breath.

Word by Word Definitions

bate play bated
  1. : to reduce the force or intensity of : restrain

  2. : to take away : deduct

  3. : to lower especially in amount or estimation

  1. : to attempt to fly off something (such as a gauntlet) in fear

breath play
  1. : air filled with a fragrance or odor

  2. : a slight indication : suggestion

  3. : the faculty of breathing


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