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Webster 1913 Edition


Breath

Breath

(brĕth)
,
Noun.
[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.
Shakespeare
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.
Shakespeare
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
.
Shakespeare
Out of breath
,
breathless, exhausted; breathing with difficulty.
Under one's breath
,
in low tones.

Webster 1828 Edition


Breath

BREATH

,
Noun.
breth.
1.
The air inhaled and expelled in the respiration of animals.
2.
Life.
No man has more contempt than I of breath.
3.
The state or power of breathing freely; opposed to a state of exhaustion from violent action; as, I am out of breath; I am scarce in breath.
4.
Respite; pause; time to breathe; as,let me take breath; give me some breath.
5.
Breeze; aid in gentle motion.
Calm and unruffled as a summer's sea,
When not a breath of wind flies o'er its surface.
6.
A single respiration; as, he swears at every breath.
7.
An instant; the time of a single respiration; a single act.
He smiles and he frowns in a breath.
8.
A word.
A breath can make them, as a breath has made.

Definition 2021


breath

breath

English

Alternative forms

  • breth (obsolete)

Noun

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.
    • 1907, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, “chapter V”, in The Younger Set (Project Gutenberg; EBook #14852), New York, N.Y.: A. L. Burt Company, published 1 February 2005 (Project Gutenberg version), OCLC 4241346:
      Breezes blowing from beds of iris quickened her breath with their perfume; she saw the tufted lilacs sway in the wind, and the streamers of mauve-tinted wistaria swinging, all a-glisten with golden bees; she saw a crimson cardinal winging through the foliage, and amorous tanagers flashing like scarlet flames athwart the pines.
  2. (countable) A single act of breathing in or out.
    I took a deep breath and started the test.
    • 1915, Emerson Hough, The Purchase Price, chapterI:
      Serene, smiling, enigmatic, she faced him with no fear whatever showing in her dark eyes. [] She put back a truant curl from her forehead where it had sought egress to the world, and looked him full in the face now, drawing a deep breath which caused the round of her bosom to lift the lace at her throat.
    • 2012 November 17, John Branch, “Snow Fall : The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek”, in New York Time:
      She knew from avalanche safety courses that outstretched hands might puncture the ice surface and alert rescuers. She knew that if victims ended up buried under the snow, cupped hands in front of the face could provide a small pocket of air for the mouth and nose. Without it, the first breaths could create a suffocating ice mask.
  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.
  6. (obsolete) Fragrance; exhalation; odor; perfume.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Tennyson to this entry?)
  7. (obsolete) Gentle exercise, causing a quicker respiration.

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

See also

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: sorry · share · working · #988: breath · camp · prove · engaged

Anagrams


Irish

Noun 1

breath f (genitive singular breithe, nominative plural breitheanna)

  1. Alternative form of breith (birth; lay; bearing capacity; bringing, taking; seizing; catching, overtaking)

Noun 2

breath f (genitive singular breithe, nominative plural breitheanna)

  1. Alternative form of breith (judgment, decision; injunction)

Declension

Mutation

Irish mutation
Radical Lenition Eclipsis
breath bhreath mbreath
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

References