to take air, oxygen, etc., into the lungs and expel it; inhale and exhale; respire.
(in speech) to control the outgoing breath in producing voice and speech sounds.
to pause, as for breath; take rest:
How about giving me a chance to breathe?
to move gently or blow lightly, as air.
to live; exist:
Hardly a man breathes who has not known great sorrow.
to be redolent of.
(of a material) to allow air and moisture to pass through easily:
The jacket is comfortable because the fabric breathes.
(of the skin) to absorb oxygen and give off perspiration.
(of a wine) to be exposed to air after being uncorked, in order to develop flavor and bouquet.
to inhale and exhale in respiration.
Dragons breathe fire.
to inject as if by breathing; infuse:
She breathed life into the party.
to give utterance to; whisper.
to express; manifest.
to allow to rest or recover breath:
to breathe a horse.
to deprive of breath; tire; exhaust.
to cause to pant; exercise.
breathe down someone’s neck,
to be close to someone in pursuit; menace; threaten:
Police from four states were breathing down his neck.
to watch someone closely so as to supervise or control:
If everyone keeps breathing down my neck, how can I get my work done?
breathe freely, to have relief from anxiety, tension, or pressure:
Now that the crisis was over, he could breathe freely.
Also, breathe easily, breathe easy.
breathe one’s last, to die:
He breathed his last and was buried in the churchyard.
not breathe a word / syllable, to maintain secrecy; keep a matter confidential:
I’ll tell you if you promise not to breathe a word.
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to take in oxygen from (the surrounding medium, esp air) and give out carbon dioxide; respire
(intransitive) to exist; be alive: every animal that breathes on earth
(intransitive) to rest to regain breath, composure, etc: stop your questions, and give me a chance to breathe
(intransitive) (esp of air) to blow lightly: the wind breathed through the trees
to take in air, esp for combustion: the engine breathes through this air filter
to equalize the pressure within a container, chamber, etc, with atmospheric pressure: the crankcase breathes through this duct
(transitive) (phonetics) to articulate (a speech sound) without vibration of the vocal cords Compare voice (sense 19)
to exhale or emit: the dragon breathed fire
(transitive) to impart; instil: to breathe confidence into the actors
(transitive) to speak softly; whisper: to breathe words of love
(transitive) to permit to rest: to breathe a horse
(intransitive) (of a material) to allow air to pass through so that perspiration can evaporate
breathe again, breathe freely, breathe easily, to feel relief: I could breathe again after passing the exam
breathe down someone’s neck, to stay close to someone, esp to oversee what they are doing: the cops are breathing down my neck
breathe one’s last, to die or be finished or defeated
breathe down someone’s neck
breathe life into
breathe one’s last
(of the voice) characterized by audible or excessive emission of breath. Contemporary Examples Becoming Marilyn: An Impersonator Talks About Life as Marilyn Monroe Nina Strochlic August 4, 2012 Jenny McCarthy Twerks Out a Stellar ‘The View’ Debut Kevin Fallon September 8, 2013 Jackie O’s Dark Side Eleanor Clift September 12, 2011 Pomp! Pageantry! Jubilee Begins! […]
(of the voice) characterized by audible or excessive emission of breath. Historical Examples Great Singers on the Art of Singing James Francis Cooke The Child-Voice in Singing Francis E. Howard The Sick-a-Bed Lady Eleanor Hallowell Abbott adjective breathier, breathiest (of the speaking voice) accompanied by an audible emission of breath (of the singing voice) lacking […]
the act of a person or other animal that breathes; respiration. a single breath. the short time required for a single breath. a pause, as for breath. utterance or words. a gentle moving or blowing, as of wind. Classical Greek Grammar. the manner of articulating the beginning of a word written with an initial vowel […]