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last1

[last, lahst] /læst, lɑst/
adjective, a superl. of late with later as compar.
1.
occurring or coming after all others, as in time, order, or place:
the last line on a page.
2.
most recent; next before the present; latest:
last week; last Friday.
3.
being the only one remaining:
my last dollar; the last outpost; a last chance.
4.
final:
in his last hours.
5.
ultimate or conclusive; definitive:
the last word in the argument.
6.
lowest in prestige or importance:
last prize.
7.
coming after all others in suitability or likelihood; least desirable:
He is the last person we'd want to represent us.
8.
individual; single:
The lecture won't start until every last person is seated.
9.
utmost; extreme:
the last degree of delight.
10.
Ecclesiastical. (of the sacraments of penance, viaticum, or extreme unction) extreme or final; administered to a person dying or in danger of dying.
adverb
11.
after all others; latest:
He arrived last at the party.
12.
on the most recent occasion:
When last seen, the suspect was wearing a checked suit.
13.
in the end; finally; in conclusion.
noun
14.
a person or thing that is last.
15.
a final appearance or mention:
We've seen the last of her. That's the last we'll hear of it.
16.
the end or conclusion:
We are going on vacation the last of September.
Idioms
17.
at last, after a lengthy pause or delay:
He was lost in thought for several minutes, but at last he spoke.
18.
at long last, after much troublesome or frustrating delay:
The ship docked at long last.
19.
breathe one's last, to die:
He was nearly 90 when he breathed his last.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English last, latst, syncopated variant of latest, Old English latest, lætest, superlative of læt, late
Synonyms
1. Last, final, ultimate refer to what comes as an ending. That which is last comes or stands after all others in a stated series or succession; last may refer to objects or activities: a seat in the last row; the last game. That which is final comes at the end, or serves to end or terminate, admitting of nothing further; final is rarely used of objects: to make a final attempt. That which is ultimate (literally, most remote) is the last that can be reached, as in progression or regression, experience, or a course of investigation: ultimate truths.

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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British Dictionary definitions for breathe one last

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

last1

/lɑːst/
adjective (often prenominal)
1.
being, happening, or coming at the end or after all others: the last horse in the race
2.
being or occurring just before the present; most recent: last Thursday
3.
last but not least, coming last in order but nevertheless important
4.
last but one, next to last
5.
only remaining: one's last cigarette
6.
most extreme; utmost
7.
least suitable, appropriate, or likely: he was the last person I would have chosen
8.
(esp relating to the end of a person's life or of the world)
  1. final or ultimate: last rites
  2. (capital): the Last Judgment
9.
(postpositive) (Liverpool, dialect) inferior, unpleasant, or contemptible: this ale is last
adverb
10.
after all others; at or in the end: he came last
11.
  1. most recently: he was last seen in the mountains
  2. (in combination): last-mentioned
12.
(sentence modifier) as the last or latest item
noun
13.
the last
  1. a person or thing that is last
  2. the final moment; end
14.
one's last moments before death
15.
the last thing a person can do (esp in the phrase breathe one's last)
16.
the final appearance, mention, or occurrence: we've seen the last of him
17.
at last, in the end; finally
18.
at long last, finally, after difficulty, delay, or irritation
Usage note
Since last can mean either after all others or most recent, it is better to avoid using this word where ambiguity might arise as in her last novel. Final or latest should be used in such contexts to avoid ambiguity
Word Origin
variant of Old English latest, lætest, superlative of late

last2

/lɑːst/
verb
1.
when intr, often foll by for. to remain in being (for a length of time); continue: his hatred lasted for several years
2.
to be sufficient for the needs of (a person) for (a length of time): it will last us until Friday
3.
when intr, often foll by for. to remain fresh, uninjured, or unaltered (for a certain time or duration): he lasted for three hours underground
See also last out
Derived Forms
laster, noun
Word Origin
Old English lǣstan; related to Gothic laistjan to follow

last3

/lɑːst/
noun
1.
the wooden or metal form on which a shoe or boot is fashioned or repaired
verb
2.
(transitive) to fit (a shoe or boot) on a last
Derived Forms
laster, noun
Word Origin
Old English lǣste, from lāst footprint; related to Old Norse leistr foot, Gothic laists

last4

/lɑːst/
noun
1.
a unit of weight or capacity having various values in different places and for different commodities. Commonly used values are 2 tons, 2000 pounds, 80 bushels, or 640 gallons
Word Origin
Old English hlæst load; related to hladan to lade1
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 breathe one last

last

adj., adv.

"following all others," from Old English latost (adj.) and lætest (adv.), superlative of læt (see late). Cognate with Old Frisian lest, Dutch laatst, Old High German laggost, German letzt. Meaning "most recent" is from c.1200. The noun, "last person or thing," is c.1200, from the adjective. Last hurrah is from the title of Edwin O'Connor's 1956 novel. Last word "final, definitive statement" is from 1650s. A dying person's last words so called by 1740. As an adjective, last-minute attested from 1913. Last-chance (adj.) is from 1962.

v.

"endure, go on existing," from Old English læstan "to continue, endure," earlier "accomplish, carry out," literally "to follow a track," from Proto-Germanic *laistjan "to follow a track" (cf. Gothic laistjan "to follow," Old Frisian lasta "to fulfill, to pay (duties)," German leisten "to perform, achieve, afford"), from PIE *leis- "track, furrow."

Related to last (n.), not to last (adj.). Related: Lasted; lasting.

n.

"shoemaker's block," from Old English læste, from last "track, footprint, trace," from Proto-Germanic *laist- (cf. Old Norse leistr "the foot," Middle Dutch, Dutch leest "form, model, last," Old High German leist "track, footprint," German Leisten "last," Gothic laistjan "to follow," Old English læran "to teach"); see last (v.).

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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Idioms and Phrases with breathe one last
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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