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[breth-tey-king] /ˈbrɛθˌteɪ kɪŋ/
thrillingly beautiful, remarkable, astonishing, exciting, or the like:
a breathtaking performance.
Origin of breathtaking
1875-80; breath + take + -ing2
Related forms
breathtakingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for breathtaking
  • Travelers can visit temples and churches so breathtaking they must have been built with divine inspiration.
  • Yet its defining feature remains its breathtaking setting.
  • Even with the construction work and scaffolding, the place was breathtaking.
  • His audacity is breathtaking, his imagination infectious, his humor as vicious as it is delectable.
  • The speed of dissemination is breathtaking: mangled to meme in less than two days.
  • The breathtaking realism of the landscape owed its fidelity to photography.
  • Wherever it comes from, this ad has a breathtaking cheesiness and badness that deserve notice.
  • We didn't see dancing structures since it was quite cloudy and probably too far away, but the view was breathtaking.
  • The breathtaking images that follow will both delight the public and allow astronomers to probe the universe's deepest mysteries.
  • The arrogance on both sides of the debate is frankly breathtaking.
British Dictionary definitions for breathtaking


causing awe or excitement: a breathtaking view
Derived Forms
breathtakingly, adverb
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 breathtaking

1867, from breath + present participle of take (v.). Phrase to take (one's) breath away with astonishment or delight is from 1864. Breathtaking (n.) "act of taking breaths or a breath" is from 1620s. Related: Breathtakingly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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