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''s 21st Century Lexicon
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Word Origin & History

bated breath
see bate (1).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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