verb (used without object), breathed / briðd / , [ bree th d ] Show IPA breathing. 1.
to take air, oxygen, etc., into the lungs and expel it; inhale and exhale; respire.
(in speech) to
in producing voice and speech sounds.
to pause, as for
; take rest:
How about giving me a chance to breathe? 4.
to move gently or blow lightly, as air.
to live; exist:
Hardly a man breathes who has not known great sorrow. 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.
(of a wine) to be exposed to air after being uncorked, in order to develop flavor and bouquet.
verb (used with object), breathed / briðd / , [ bree th d ] Show IPA breathing. 10.
to inhale and exhale in respiration.
Dragons breathe fire. 12.
to inject as if by breathing; infuse:
She breathed life into the party. 13.
to give utterance to; whisper.
to allow to rest or recover
to breathe a horse. 16.
to deprive of
; tire; exhaust.
to cause to pant; exercise.
Idioms 18. breathe down someone's neck, a.
to be close to someone in pursuit; menace; threaten:
Police from four states were breathing down his neck. b.
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 wordto maintain secrecy; keep a matter confidential: /syllable, I'll tell you if you promise not to breathe a word. Origin: 1250–1300; Middle English brethen,
breath Related forms
outbreathe, verb (used with object), outbreathed, outbreathing.
prebreathe, verb (used with object), prebreathed, prebreathing.
Synonyms utter, tell, murmur, voice; reveal, divulge. 14.