1) N-VAR: oft poss N Your breath is the air that you let out through your mouth when you breathe. If someone has bad breath, their breath smells unpleasant.

I could smell the whisky on his breath...

Smoking causes bad breath.

2) N-VAR When you take a breath, you breathe in once.

He took a deep breath, and began to climb the stairs...

Gasping for breath, she leaned against the door...

He spoke for one and a half hours and barely paused for breath.

3) N-SING: usu with brd-neg, usu N of n (emphasis) If you say that there is not a breath of wind or air, you are emphasizing that there is no wind and the air is very still. [WRITTEN]

Not even a breath of wind stirred the pine branches.

4) N-SING: N of n A breath of something, is a small amount of it. [WRITTEN]

It was left to Martina to add a breath of common sense to the proceedings.

5) PHRASE: breath inflects If you go outside for a breath of fresh air or for a breath of air, you go outside because it is unpleasantly warm indoors.
6) PHRASE: usu v-link PHR (approval) If you describe something new or different as a breath of fresh air, you mean that it makes a situation or subject more interesting or exciting.

Her brisk treatment of an almost taboo subject was a breath of fresh air.

7) PHRASE: V inflects When you get your breath back after doing something energetic, you start breathing normally again. [BRIT]

I reached out a hand to steady myself against the house while I got my breath back.

8) PHRASE: V and N inflect When you catch your breath while you are doing something energetic, you stop for a short time so that you can start breathing normally again.

He had stopped to catch his breath and make sure of his directions.

9) PHRASE: V inflects If something makes you catch your breath, it makes you take a short breath of air, usually because it shocks you.

Kenny caught his breath as Nikko nearly dropped the bottle.

10) PHRASE: V inflects, usu with brd-neg If you do not have time to draw breath, you do not have time to have a break from what you are doing.
11) PHRASE: V and N inflect If you hold your breath, you make yourself stop breathing for a few moments, for example because you are under water.

I held my breath and sank under the water.

12) PHRASE: V and N inflect, oft PHR for n If you say that someone is holding their breath, you mean that they are waiting anxiously or excitedly for something to happen. [WRITTEN]

The whole world holds its breath for this speech.

13) PHRASE: V and N inflect If you say that you won't hold your breath, you mean that you do not expect something to happen even though someone has suggested that it might. [INFORMAL]

`Next thing you know, I'll be dancing at your wedding,' he cried. `Don't hold your breath,' my father replied.

14) PHRASE: usu poss PHR When someone takes their last breath, they die. [LITERARY]

His wife sat with him until he drew his last breath.

15) PHRASE: v-link PHR If you are out of breath, you are breathing very quickly and with difficulty because you have been doing something energetic.

There she was, slightly out of breath from running.

16) PHRASE: PHR cl (disapproval) You can use in the same breath or in the next breath to indicate that someone says two very different or contradictory things, especially when you are criticizing them.

He hailed this week's arms agreement but in the same breath expressed suspicion about the motivations of the United States.

17) PHRASE: usu v-link PHR If you are short of breath, you find it difficult to breathe properly, for example because you are ill. You can also say that someone suffers from shortness of breath.

She felt short of breath and flushed...

Any exercise that causes undue shortness of breath should be stopped.

18) PHRASE: V inflects (emphasis) If you say that something takes your breath away, you are emphasizing that it is extremely beautiful or surprising.

I heard this song on the radio and it just took my breath away.

19) PHRASE: PHR after v If you say something under your breath, you say it in a very quiet voice, often because you do not want other people to hear what you are saying.

Walsh muttered something under his breath.

20) PHRASE: V inflects If someone says you are wasting your breath, they mean that the person you are talking to will not take any notice and so there is no point saying anything to them.

The tone of her voice told him he was wasting his breath.

21) with bated breathsee bated
to fight for breathsee fight

English dictionary. 2008.

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • breath — [ breθ ] noun count or uncount *** the air that goes in and out of your body through your nose or mouth: He could feel her warm breath on his face. His breath smelled strongly of alcohol. a. the act of getting air into your lungs by breathing:… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Breath — (br[e^]th), n. [OE. breth, breeth, AS. br[=ae][eth] odor, scent, breath; cf. OHG. br[=a]dam steam, vapor, breath, G. brodem, and possibly E. {Brawn}, and {Breed}.] 1. The air inhaled and exhaled in respiration; air which, in the process of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • Breath — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Breath (exhalación) es un montaje de escenario, escrito por Samuel Beckett, una versión modificada de esta performance fue incluida en el musical de Kenneth Tynan Oh! Calcutta!. Este trabajo fue estrenado en octubre… …   Wikipedia Español

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  • breath|er — «BREE thuhr», noun. 1. a short stop for breath; rest: »He had stopped for a few minutes breather. SYNONYM(S): respite, pause. 2. a person or thing that breathes: »I will chide no breather in the world but myself against whom I know most faults… …   Useful english dictionary

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