breath·​tak·​ing | \ ˈbreth-ˌtā-kiŋ How to pronounce breathtaking (audio) \

Definition of breathtaking

1 : causing one to breathe rapidly or with difficulty : making one out of breath a breathtaking pain in her side
2a : exciting, thrilling a breathtaking race
b : very great : astonishing his breathtaking ignorance

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Other Words from breathtaking

breathtakingly \ ˈbreth-​ˌtā-​kiŋ-​lē How to pronounce breathtaking (audio) \ adverb

Examples of breathtaking in a Sentence

The train raced past with breathtaking speed. They gave a breathtaking performance. The view of the mountains was breathtaking. a scene of breathtaking beauty The scope of the error is breathtaking.
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Recent Examples on the Web Some are memorably breathtaking (hi, Adele) and others, despite their pedigree, faltered spectacularly (sorry, Madonna). Melissa Ruggieri, USA TODAY, 8 Oct. 2021 But the result is as breathtaking as a Houdini escape. Los Angeles Times, 27 Sep. 2021 Follow this up with a 3.5-mile stroll down the Newport Cliff Walk, which provides some of the most breathtaking coastal views along the entire Eastern seaboard. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, 28 Sep. 2021 Just another reminder that soaring to such a breathtaking view of Earth does require some less-dazzling work. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, 13 Sep. 2021 The city's proximity to some of the state's most breathtaking views also helps. Billy Mcentee, Travel + Leisure, 15 Aug. 2021 Sylvia Furmanovich's celestial Marquetry pendant is as breathtaking as the sky itself. Beth Bernstein, Forbes, 15 June 2021 The price recovered to $0.40 per Dogecoin by Thursday morning, half its recent highest-ever price, but still up a breathtaking 15,500% from a year ago. Robert Hackett, Fortune, 20 May 2021 Additional features include a movie theater, a wine cellar, a hot tub, and an eight-car parking garage—not to mention a breathtaking indoor waterfall with a mosaic-tile backdrop. Jada Jackson, House Beautiful, 29 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'breathtaking.' 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 breathtaking

1840, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for breathtaking

Time Traveler

The first known use of breathtaking was in 1840

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Dictionary Entries Near breathtaking



breath test

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Statistics for breathtaking

Last Updated

21 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Breathtaking.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for breathtaking



English Language Learners Definition of breathtaking

: very exciting : thrilling
: very great or surprising


breath·​tak·​ing | \ ˈbreth-ˌtā-kiŋ How to pronounce breathtaking (audio) \

Kids Definition of breathtaking

: very exciting or beautiful

More from Merriam-Webster on breathtaking

Nglish: Translation of breathtaking for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of breathtaking for Arabic Speakers


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