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



    From Middle English brethen ( “to breathe, blow, exhale, odour” ), from breth ( “breath” ). More at breath .


    • IPA: /bɹiːð/, X-SAMPA: /bri:D/
    • Rhymes: -iːð


    breathe ( third-person singular simple present breathes present participle breathing, simple past and past participle breathed )

    1. ( intransitive ) To repeatedly draw air into, and expel it from, the lungs in order to extract oxygen from it and excrete waste products .
    2. ( intransitive ) To exchange gases with the environment .
      Garments made of ****** and similar new materials breathe well and keep the skin relatively dry during exercise .
    3. ( intransitive, now rare ) To rest; to stop and catch one's breath.
      • 1485, Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur, Book X:
        Thus they fought stylle withoute ony reposynge two owres, and never brethid [...] .
    4. ( intransitive ) Figuratively, to be relaxed or calm .
      ...the wind breathes through the trees.. .
    5. ( intransitive ) Figuratively, to live .
      I will not allow it, as long as I still breathe .
    6. ( transitive ) To repeatedly draw ( something ) into, and expel ( that thing ) from, the lungs .
      Try not to breathe too much smoke .
    7. ( transitive ) To whisper quietly .
      He breathed the words into her ear, but she understood them all .

    Derived terms

    Related terms


Explanation of breathe by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. draw air into, and expel out of, the lungs

    2. I can breathe better when the air is clean
    3. expel ( gases or odors )

    4. reach full flavor by absorbing air and being let to stand after having been uncorked

    5. This rare Bordeaux must be allowed to breathe for at least 2 hours
    6. take a short break from one's activities in order to relax

    7. manifest or evince

    8. She breathes the Christian spirit
    9. utter or tell

    10. not breathe a word
    11. impart as if by breathing

    12. He breathed new life into the old house
    13. be alive

    14. Every creature that breathes
    15. allow the passage of air through

    16. Our new synthetic fabric breathes and is perfect for summer wear

    Definition of breathe by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Breathe ( brēth ), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Breathed ( brēthd ); p. pr. & vb. n. Breathing.] [From Breath.]

      1. To respire; to inhale and exhale air; hence;, to live. “I am in health, I breathe.” Shak.

      Breathes there a man with soul so dead

      Who never to himself hath said,

      This is my own, my native land! Sir W. Scott [The Lay of the Last Minstrel].

      2. To take breath; to rest from action.

      Well! breathe awhile, and then to it again! Shak.

      3. To pass like breath; noiselessly or gently; to exhale; to emanate; to blow gently.

      The air breathes upon us here most sweetly. Shak.

      There breathes a living fragrance from the shore. Byron.

    2. Breathe, v. t.
      1. To inhale and exhale in the process of respiration; to respire.

      To view the light of heaven, and breathe the vital air. Dryden.

      2. To inject by breathing; to infuse; -- with into.

      Able to breathe life into a stone. Shak.

      And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. Gen. ii. 7.

      3. To emit or utter by the breath; to utter softly; to whisper; as, “to breathe a vow”.

      He softly breathed thy name. Dryden.

      Or let the church, our mother, breathe her curse,

      A mother's curse, on her revolting son. Shak.

      4. To exhale; to emit, as breath; as, “the flowers breathe odors or perfumes”.

      5. To express; to manifest; to give forth.

      Others articles breathe the same severe spirit. Milner.

      6. To act upon by the breath; to cause to sound by breathing. “They breathe the flute.” Prior.

      7. To promote free respiration in; to exercise.

      And every man should beat thee. I think thou wast created for men to breathe themselves upon thee. Shak.

      8. To suffer to take breath, or recover the natural breathing; to rest; as, “to breathe a horse”.

      A moment breathed his panting steed. Sir W. Scott.

      9. To put out of breath; to exhaust.

      Mr. Tulkinghorn arrives in his turret room, a little breathed by the journey up. Dickens.

      10. ( Phonetics ) To utter without vocality, as the nonvocal consonants.

      The same sound may be pronounces either breathed, voiced, or whispered. H. Sweet.

      Breathed elements, being already voiceless, remain unchanged [in whispering]. H. Sweet.

      To breathe again, to take breath; to feel a sense of relief, as from danger, responsibility, or press of business. -- To breathe one's last, to die; to expire. -- To breathe a vein, to open a vein; to let blood. Dryden.