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breathing space

noun
1.
Also called breathing spell. an opportunity to rest or think.
2.
sufficient space in which to move, work, etc.:
The train was so crowded that there was hardly breathing space.
Origin
1640-1650
1640-50
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for breathing-space

breathing space

noun
1.
enough area to permit freedom of movement: the country gives us some breathing space
2.
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
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Idioms and Phrases with breathing-space

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.
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Difficulty index for breathing space

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Word Value for breathing

15
17
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