Denotation vs. Connotation

breathing space

Also called breathing spell. an opportunity to rest or think.
sufficient space in which to move, work, etc.:
The train was so crowded that there was hardly breathing space.
Origin of breathing space
1640-50 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for breathing spell
Historical Examples
  • In the narrow pass they stopped for a few minutes for a breathing spell.

  • And as the men were halted just then for a breathing spell, he gave him a bit of good advice.

    The Downfall Emile Zola
  • So they struggled on for an hour, halting occasionally to give the horses a breathing spell, then drove obstinately forward again.

    Ted Strong in Montana Edward C. Taylor
  • There was a breathing spell, as the moose halted for a brief time.

  • The fewer passenger cars on the thruway and the increase in cargo carriers gave the troopers a breathing spell.

    Code Three Rick Raphael
  • No halt, only a breathing spell and, as I have predicted, we are on our way again.

  • Thus she might have got a breathing spell, but Red-Eye was fiendish.

    Before Adam Jack London
  • The Christians, glad of a breathing spell, quit almost as soon.

    The Fair God Lew Wallace
  • Halfway up the slope they stopped to give the horses a breathing spell.

    The Grizzly King James Oliver Curwood
  • When a breathing spell came, the boys had their say about the lieutenant-general.

    A Boy Trooper With Sheridan Stanton P. Allen
British Dictionary definitions for breathing spell

breathing space

enough area to permit freedom of movement: the country gives us some breathing space
a pause for rest, etc: a coffee break was their only breathing space
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
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with breathing spell

breathing space

Room or time in which to breathe, as in In that crowded hall, there was hardly any breathing space. Previously this term was put as breathing room. [ Mid-1600s ]
A rest or pause. For example, I can't work at this all day; I need some breathing space. This usage replaced the earlier breathing while. [ Mid-1600s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for breathing space

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for breathing

Scrabble Words With Friends