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[breth-ee] /ˈbrɛθ i/
adjective, breathier, breathiest.
(of the voice) characterized by audible or excessive emission of breath.
Origin of breathy
1520-30; breath + -y1
Related forms
breathiness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for breathy
  • Something about the voice struck me as breathy and half-crazed.
  • Differences between ways of producing vowels, such as creaky voice or breathy voice.
  • He delivers his revivalist songs in a breathy, hushed voice.
  • He starts with breathy, staring longingly and directly into the camera.
  • Pitch problems and a wavering, breathy singing style made her performances something of a rollercoaster.
  • She was annoying with her fake breathy voice, and she was wrong about the weather more times than she was right.
British Dictionary definitions for breathy


adjective breathier, breathiest
(of the speaking voice) accompanied by an audible emission of breath
(of the singing voice) lacking resonance
Derived Forms
breathily, adverb
breathiness, 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 breathy

1520s, "pertaining to breath," from breath + -y (2). Of voices, "full of breath," from 1883. Related: Breathily; breathiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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