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breathless

[breth-lis] /ˈbrɛθ lɪs/
adjective
1.
without breath or breathing with difficulty; gasping; panting:
We were breathless after the steep climb.
2.
with the breath held, as in suspense, astonishment, fear, or the like:
breathless listeners of the mystery story.
3.
causing loss of breath, as from excitement, anticipation, or tension:
a breathless ride.
4.
dead; lifeless.
5.
motionless or still, as air without a breeze:
a breathless summer day.
Origin of breathless
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English brethles. See breath, -less
Related forms
breathlessly, adverb
breathlessness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for breathlessly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Mollie spoke hurriedly and breathlessly; she had not even asked him to sit down.

    Mollie's Prince Rosa Nouchette Carey
  • One after another they left off playing, and breathlessly looked on at my game.

  • “A minister may be all these things,” said Gavin, breathlessly.

    The Little Minister J. M. Barrie
  • Men stared up at him breathlessly, for they realized that he meant what he said.

    The Coyote James Roberts
  • It was a week later that one of his men came to him breathlessly to announce that the San Blas Indians were in the town.

British Dictionary definitions for breathlessly

breathless

/ˈbrɛθlɪs/
adjective
1.
out of breath; gasping, etc
2.
holding one's breath or having it taken away by excitement, etc: a breathless confrontation
3.
(esp of the atmosphere) motionless and stifling
4.
(rare) lifeless; dead
Derived Forms
breathlessly, adverb
breathlessness, noun
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 breathlessly

breathless

adj.

late 14c., "unable to breathe," from breath + -less. Meaning "out of breath, panting" is from mid-15c. Used from 1590s in the sense "dead." Meaning "forgetting to breathe due to excitement, awe, anticipation, etc." is recorded from 1802. Related: Breathlessly; breathlessness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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