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breathing

[bree-th ing] /ˈbri ðɪŋ/
noun
1.
the act of a person or other animal that breathes; respiration.
2.
a single breath.
3.
the short time required for a single breath.
4.
a pause, as for breath.
5.
utterance or words.
6.
a gentle moving or blowing, as of wind.
7.
Classical Greek Grammar.
  1. the manner of articulating the beginning of a word written with an initial vowel sign, with or without aspiration before the vowel.
  2. one of the two symbols used to indicate this.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English brethynge. See breathe, -ing1
Related forms
breathingly, adverb
unbreathing, adjective

breathe

[breeth] /brið/
verb (used without object), breathed
[breeth d] /briðd/ (Show IPA),
breathing.
1.
to take air, oxygen, etc., into the lungs and expel it; inhale and exhale; respire.
2.
(in speech) to control the outgoing breath in producing voice and speech sounds.
3.
to pause, as for breath; take rest:
How about giving me a chance to breathe?
4.
to move gently or blow lightly, as air.
5.
to live; exist:
Hardly a man breathes who has not known great sorrow.
6.
to be redolent of.
7.
(of a material) to allow air and moisture to pass through easily:
The jacket is comfortable because the fabric breathes.
8.
(of the skin) to absorb oxygen and give off perspiration.
9.
(of a wine) to be exposed to air after being uncorked, in order to develop flavor and bouquet.
verb (used with object), breathed
[breeth d] /briðd/ (Show IPA),
breathing.
10.
to inhale and exhale in respiration.
11.
to exhale:
Dragons breathe fire.
12.
to inject as if by breathing; infuse:
She breathed life into the party.
13.
to give utterance to; whisper.
14.
to express; manifest.
15.
to allow to rest or recover breath:
to breathe a horse.
16.
to deprive of breath; tire; exhaust.
17.
to cause to pant; exercise.
Idioms
18.
breathe down someone's neck,
  1. to be close to someone in pursuit; menace; threaten:
    Police from four states were breathing down his neck.
  2. to watch someone closely so as to supervise or control:
    If everyone keeps breathing down my neck, how can I get my work done?
19.
breathe freely, to have relief from anxiety, tension, or pressure:
Now that the crisis was over, he could breathe freely.
Also, breathe easily, breathe easy.
20.
breathe one's last, to die:
He breathed his last and was buried in the churchyard.
21.
not breathe a word / syllable, to maintain secrecy; keep a matter confidential:
I'll tell you if you promise not to breathe a word.
Origin
1250-1300; Middle English brethen, derivative of breath
Related forms
outbreathe, verb (used with object), outbreathed, outbreathing.
prebreathe, verb (used with object), prebreathed, prebreathing.
Can be confused
breadth, breath, breathe.
Synonyms
14. utter, tell, murmur, voice; reveal, divulge.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for breathing
  • We can alter our gait and control breathing at a different rate, which is awesome for long distance.
  • Fishermen collect the clams by hand, by diving to the seafloor trailing breathing tubes.
  • Miners often burned the mix in their cabins, breathing in toxic fumes.
  • There is a rhythm, a beat a breathing soul to this city.
  • The last reason is to portray these bones as the living, breathing animals they were.
  • The soldiers' crossing of the river brought a second breathing spell in the fight.
  • breathing in the wood smoke, one could almost taste pink, flaking meat.
  • In the darkness they can tell the difference between a beluga and a narwhal by the sound of their breathing.
  • Lying for long periods hampers breathing, digestion and other functions.
  • Athletics directors are breathing sighs of suite relief.
British Dictionary definitions for breathing

breathing

/ˈbriːðɪŋ/
noun
1.
the passage of air into and out of the lungs to supply the body with oxygen
2.
a single breath: a breathing between words
3.
an utterance: a breathing of hate
4.
a soft movement, esp of air
5.
a rest or pause
6.
(phonetics)
  1. expulsion of breath (rough breathing) or absence of such expulsion (smooth breathing) preceding the pronunciation of an initial vowel or rho in ancient Greek
  2. either of two symbols indicating this

breathe

/briːð/
verb
1.
to take in oxygen from (the surrounding medium, esp air) and give out carbon dioxide; respire
2.
(intransitive) to exist; be alive: every animal that breathes on earth
3.
(intransitive) to rest to regain breath, composure, etc: stop your questions, and give me a chance to breathe
4.
(intransitive) (esp of air) to blow lightly: the wind breathed through the trees
5.
(intransitive) (machinery)
  1. to take in air, esp for combustion: the engine breathes through this air filter
  2. to equalize the pressure within a container, chamber, etc, with atmospheric pressure: the crankcase breathes through this duct
6.
(transitive) (phonetics) to articulate (a speech sound) without vibration of the vocal cords Compare voice (sense 19)
7.
to exhale or emit: the dragon breathed fire
8.
(transitive) to impart; instil: to breathe confidence into the actors
9.
(transitive) to speak softly; whisper: to breathe words of love
10.
(transitive) to permit to rest: to breathe a horse
11.
(intransitive) (of a material) to allow air to pass through so that perspiration can evaporate
12.
breathe again, breathe freely, breathe easily, to feel relief: I could breathe again after passing the exam
13.
breathe down someone's neck, to stay close to someone, esp to oversee what they are doing: the cops are breathing down my neck
14.
breathe one's last, to die or be finished or defeated
Word Origin
C13: from breath
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for breathing

breathe

v.

c.1300, not in Old English, but it retains the original Old English vowel of its source word, breath. Related: Breathed; breathing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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breathing in Medicine

breathing breath·ing (brē'ðĭng)
n.
The alternate inhalation and exhalation of air in respiration.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for breathing

breathing

adjective

Alive, at least: They'll take any warm body that's breathing (1970s+)

Related Terms

mouth-breathing


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with breathing
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for breathing

the action of moving air or water across the surface of a respiratory structure, such as a gill or lung, to facilitate respiration (the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide with the environment). See respiration.

Learn more about breathing with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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