Why was clemency trending last week?


[sahy] /saɪ/
verb (used without object)
to let out one's breath audibly, as from sorrow, weariness, or relief.
to yearn or long; pine.
to make a sound suggesting a sigh:
sighing wind.
verb (used with object)
to express or utter with a sigh.
to lament with sighing.
the act or sound of sighing.
Origin of sigh
1250-1300; (v.) Middle English sighen, back formation from sihte sighed, past tense of Middle English siken, sichen, Old English sīcan to sigh; (noun) Middle English, derivative of the v.
Related forms
sigher, noun
outsigh, verb (used with object)
unsighing, adjective
Can be confused
side, sighed.
sighs, size (see synonym study at size) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sigh
  • At long last, summer has breathed a warm sigh of relief, signaling that the season's customary activities can officially begin.
  • My husband favored me with a sigh suggesting that the family had long noted my derangement.
  • If that happens, astronomers around the world will breathe a sigh of relief.
  • The city heaved a collective sigh of relief-but it has been coughing ever since.
  • Discuss the degree to which the students are in agreement about what the gestures and sigh meant to them.
  • The measurements are right on, and the group heaves a collective sigh of relief.
  • It's tough work, his sigh seems to say, but someone's got to do it.
  • Those already feeling buried under their unanswered e-mail gave a collective sigh of relief upon hearing this explanation.
  • Yet far from heaving a sigh of relief, investors are nervous.
  • The group gives a collective sigh of delight, wonder, and a pinch of relief.
British Dictionary definitions for sigh


(intransitive) to draw in and exhale audibly a deep breath as an expression of weariness, despair, relief, etc
(intransitive) to make a sound resembling this: trees sighing in the wind
(intransitive) often foll by for. to yearn, long, or pine
(transitive) to utter or express with sighing
the act or sound of sighing
Derived Forms
sigher, noun
Word Origin
Old English sīcan, of obscure origin
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 sigh

mid-13c., probably a Middle English back-formation from sighte, past tense of Old English sican "to sigh," perhaps echoic of the sound of sighing. Related: Sighed; sighing.


early 14c., from sigh (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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