breathing space

Idioms & Phrases

breathing space

  1. Room or time in which to breathe, as in In that crowded hall, there was hardly any breathing space. Previously this term was put as . [Mid-1600s]

  2. A rest or pause. For example, I can't work at this all day; I need some breathing space. This usage replaced the earlier breathing while. [Mid-1600s]

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