breathe one's last

Idioms & Phrases

breathe one's last

Die, as in Aunt Agatha breathed her last on Tuesday. This term was used by Shakespeare in 3 Henry VI (5:2): "Montague has breathed his last." It has survived but today is considered a poetic euphemism.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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