bated breath

Main Entry:  bated breath
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  the condition of waiting for something to happen; subdued breathing due to high emotions
Example:  With bated breath, they went to the mailbox every day.
Etymology:  1933; based on bate meaning 'to moderate, restrain'
Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014 Dictionary.com, LLC
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

bated breath
see bate (1).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature