- The definition of breath is the inhalation and exhalation of air into or out of the lungs.
An example of breath is when you take in air.
A man takes in a breath of fresh air.
- air taken into the lungs and then let out
- the act of breathing; respiration
- the power to breathe easily and naturally: to get one's breath back
- life or spirit
- air or vapor given off from anything
- air carrying fragrance or odor
- a puff or whiff, as of air; slight breeze
- moisture produced by a condensing of the breath, as in cold air
- an utterance, esp. in a low voice; whisper or murmur
- the time taken by a single respiration; a moment
- a slight pause or rest
- a faint hint or indication
- Phonet. a voiceless exhalation of the airstream with relative stillness at the vocal cords, as in pronouncing (s) or (p)
Origin of breathMiddle English breth ; from Old English bræth, odor, exhalation ; from Indo-European base an unverified form bher-, well up from source ferment, barm, brood
catch one's breath
- to gasp
- to return to normal breathing after exertion
- Informal to rest or pause
in the same breath
out of breath
save one's breath
take someone's breath away
under one's breathor below one's breath
- a. The act or process of breathing; respiration: swam down to the reef, holding his breath.b. A single act of breathing: Take a deep breath.
- a. The air inhaled and exhaled in respiration: as long as there is breath in my lungs.b. Air that is exhaled, as evidenced by vapor or odor: It's so cold you can see your breath.
- The capacity to breathe, especially in a natural and unlabored manner: suffering from shortness of breath.
- Spirit or vitality: colors that lend breath to his paintings.
- A momentary pause or rest: If I could have a breath before I go on.
- A momentary stirring of air: Not a breath of air stirred the leaves.
- A softly spoken sound; a whisper: There was hardly a breath of protest.
- Linguistics Exhalation of air without vibration of the vocal cords, as in the articulation of p and s.
Origin of breathMiddle English breth, from Old English br&aemac;th; see gwhrē- in Indo-European roots.
(countable and uncountable, plural breaths)
- (uncountable) The act or process of breathing.
- I could hear the breath of the runner behind me.
- The child's breath came quickly and unevenly.
- (countable) A single act of breathing in or out.
- I took a deep breath and started the test.
- (uncountable) Air expelled from the lungs.
- I could feel the runner's breath on my shoulder.
- (countable) A rest or pause.
- Let's stop for a breath when we get to the top of the hill.
- A small amount of something, such as wind, or common sense.
- Even with all the windows open, there is hardly a breath of air in here.
- If she had a breath of common sense, she would never have spoken to the man in the first place.
From Middle English breeth, breth, from Old English brǣþ (“odor, scent, stink, exhalation, vapor”), from Proto-Germanic *brēþiz (“vapour, waft, exhalation, breath”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰrē-t- (“exhalation from heat; steam”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰer- (“to seethe, toss about, cook”). Cognate with Scots breth, breith (“breath”), German Brodem (“steam, vapour, fume, odour”). Related also to Icelandic bráður (“hasty, hurried, excited, rash”). More at brath.