Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of breath
Meaning of breath by Wiktionary Dictionary



    Old English brǣþ ( “smell, exhalation” ), from Proto-Germanic *brēþaz, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰrēto- ( “exhalation from heat; steam” ) .


    • enPR: brĕth, IPA: /brɛθ/, X-SAMPA: /brET/
    • Rhymes: -ɛθ


    breath ( countable and uncountable; plural: breaths )

    1. ( uncountable ) The act or process of breathing .
      I could hear the breath of the runner behind me .
      The child's breath came quickly and unevenly .
    2. ( countable ) A single act of breathing in or out .
      I took a deep breath and started the test .
    3. ( uncountable ) Air expelled from the lungs .
      I could feel the runner's breath on my shoulder .
    4. ( countable ) A rest or pause .
      Let's stop for a breath when we get to the top of the hill .
    5. a small amount of something, such as wind, or common sense
      Even with all the windows open, there is hardly a breath of air in here .
      If she had a breath of common sense, she would never have spoken to the man in the first place .

    Related terms



Explanation of breath by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. the process of taking in and expelling air during breathing

    2. he took a deep breath and dived into the pool
      he was fighting to his last breath
    3. an indirect suggestion

    4. not a breath of scandal ever touched her
    5. a slight movement of the air

    6. there wasn't a breath of air in the room
    7. the air that is inhaled and exhaled in respiration

    8. his sour breath offended her
    9. a short respite

    Definition of breath by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Breath ( brĕth ), n. [OE. breth, breeth, AS. brǣð odor, scent, breath; cf. OHG. brādam 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 respiration, has parted with oxygen and has received carbonic acid, aqueous vapor, warmth, etc.

      Melted as breath into the wind. Shak.

      2. The act of breathing naturally or freely; the power or capacity to breathe freely; as, “I am out of breath”.

      3. The power of respiration, and hence, life. Hood.

      Thou takest away their breath, they die. Ps. civ. 29.

      4. Time to breathe; respite; pause.

      Give me some breath, some little pause. Shak.

      5. A single respiration, or the time of making it; a single act; an instant.

      He smiles and he frowns in a breath. Dryden.

      6. Fig.: That which gives or strengthens life.

      The earthquake voice of victory,

      To thee the breath of life. Byron.

      7. A single word; the slightest effort; a trifle.

      A breath can make them, as a breath has made. Goldsmith.

      8. A very slight breeze; air in gentle motion.

      Calm and unruffled as a summer's sea,

      when not a breath of wind flies o'er its surface. Addison.

      9. Fragrance; exhalation; odor; perfume. Tennison.

      The breath of flowers. Bacon.

      10. Gentle exercise, causing a quicker respiration.

      An after dinner's breath. Shak.

      Out of breath, breathless, exhausted; breathing with difficulty. -- Under one's breath, in low tones.