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[pant] /pænt/
verb (used without object)
to breathe hard and quickly, as after exertion.
to gasp, as for air.
to long with breathless or intense eagerness; yearn:
to pant for revenge.
to throb or heave violently or rapidly; palpitate.
to emit steam or the like in loud puffs.
Nautical. (of the bow or stern of a ship) to work with the shock of contact with a succession of waves.
Compare work (def 24).
verb (used with object)
to breathe or utter gaspingly.
the act of panting.
a short, quick, labored effort at breathing; gasp.
a puff, as of an engine.
a throb or heave, as of the breast.
Origin of pant1
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English panten < Middle French pant(a)is(i)er < Vulgar Latin *phantasiāre to have visions < Greek phantasioûn to have or form images. See fantasy
Related forms
pantingly, adverb
unpanting, adjective
1. puff, blow. Pant, gasp suggest breathing with more effort than usual. Pant suggests rapid, convulsive breathing, as from violent exertion or excitement: to pant after running for the train. Gasp suggests catching one's breath in a single quick intake, as from amazement, terror, and the like, or a series of such quick intakes of breath, as in painful breathing: to gasp with horror; to gasp for breath. 3. thirst, hunger. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for panting
Historical Examples
  • panting from his exertion, he speedily came over the gunwale upon the deck.

    Adrift on the Pacific Edward S. Ellis
  • panting, completely exhausted, Ken forced his brain to the question.

    Under Arctic Ice H.G. Winter
  • panting, she had got up to them, and was pulling Chatty away from him by her arm.

    A Country Gentleman and his Family Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant
  • panting and breathless he defended himself as best he could.

    The Cat of Bubastes G. A. Henty
  • panting like a winded dog, he sprang into the slough at the base of his sycamore, swam it, and climbed.

    The Duck-footed Hound James Arthur Kjelgaard
  • panting, exhausted, Colomba was utterly incapable of uttering a single word.

    Columba Prosper Merimee
  • panting and exhausted, he lay still and awaited his pursuers.

    The Ranger Edward S. Ellis
  • panting and out of breath, the three stood looking at one another.

    Good Blood Ernst Von Wildenbruch
  • panting for breath, he paused; then began to batter the slats of one panel with his fists.

    The Mystery of Arnold Hall Helen M. Persons
  • panting though he was, vehemently, Ruby could not restrain a laugh.

    The Lighthouse R.M. Ballantyne
British Dictionary definitions for panting


to breathe with noisy deep gasps, as when out of breath from exertion or excitement
to say (something) while breathing thus
(intransitive) often foll by for. to have a frantic desire (for); yearn
(intransitive) to pulsate; throb rapidly
the act or an instance of panting
a short deep gasping noise; puff
Word Origin
C15: from Old French pantaisier, from Greek phantasioun to have visions, from phantasiafantasy
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 panting



mid-15c., perhaps a shortening of Old French pantaisier "gasp, puff, pant, be out of breath, be in distress" (12c.), probably from Vulgar Latin *pantasiare "be oppressed with a nightmare, struggle for breathing during a nightmare," literally "to have visions," from Greek phantasioun "have or form images, subject to hallucinations," from phantasia "appearance, image, fantasy" (see phantasm). Related: Panted; panting.


"a gasping breath," c.1500, from pant (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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panting in Medicine

pant (pānt)
v. pant·ed, pant·ing, pants
To breathe rapidly and shallowly.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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