Explore the fascinating world of idioms with “breath” and their meanings, along with example sentences, in this comprehensive guide. From “catch your breath” to “take someone’s breath away,” discover how these common phrases add color and depth to our everyday language.
Idioms With “Breath”
- “To take a deep breath” – This means to take a slow, deep breath to calm oneself down. Example: “She felt nervous before her speech, so she took a deep breath to calm her nerves.”
- “To hold one’s breath” – This means to stop breathing temporarily, often in anticipation of something exciting or scary. Example: “He held his breath as he watched the cliff jumper take the leap.”
- “To take one’s breath away” – This means to surprise or amaze someone so much that they momentarily stop breathing. Example: “The view from the top of the mountain took his breath away.”
- “To catch one’s breath” – This means to take a short break or pause to recover from exertion or excitement. Example: “She ran up the stairs and needed to catch her breath before continuing.”
- “To be out of breath” – This means to be panting or breathing heavily due to exertion or excitement. Example: “She was out of breath after running a mile.”
- “To not have a breath of fresh air” – This means to not have a change of scenery or atmosphere. Example: “She felt claustrophobic and needed to not have a breath of fresh air.”
- “To take a breath of fresh air” – This means to get outside for fresh air and a change of atmosphere. Example: “She took a breath of fresh air to clear her head and feel refreshed.”
Hold (one’s) breath, not;
The idiom “hold one’s breath” means to wait anxiously for something to happen, often with a sense of anticipation or uncertainty. It can also mean to stop breathing for a short period of time, often as a reflex action. For example, you might say “I’m not holding my breath for a promotion this year” to indicate that you’re not expecting it to happen, or “I had to hold my breath while diving underwater” to describe a physical action.
With bated breath;
The phrase “with bated breath” is used to describe a state of anxious anticipation or excitement. It means to wait for something with great eagerness or suspense, often to the point of holding one’s breath. For example, you might say “I’m waiting with bated breath to hear the results of the election” or “the audience watched with bated breath as the acrobat performed a dangerous stunt.” The phrase “with bated breath” is derived from the Old English word “bate,” which means to reduce or restrain.
breath of fresh air
The idiom “breath of fresh air” is used to describe something that is new, refreshing, and different from what one is used to. It refers to a positive change or a welcome relief from something that has become stale or monotonous. For example, you might say “Working with this new team has been a breath of fresh air” or “The renovation of the old building has brought a breath of fresh air to the neighborhood.” The phrase “breath of fresh air” is often used to describe a person, situation, or idea that is invigorating and rejuvenating.
breathe down someone’s neck
The idiom “breathe down someone’s neck” is used to describe a situation where someone is closely monitoring or supervising another person, often in an intimidating or annoying way. It implies a sense of pressure or discomfort, as if someone is standing too close and constantly watching. For example, you might say “My boss is always breathing down my neck to finish my work faster” or “I hate it when my parents breathe down my neck about my grades.” The phrase “breathe down someone’s neck” suggests a lack of trust or respect, and can be used to describe a tense or unpleasant work or personal environment.
breathe one’s last
The idiom “breathe one’s last” is a euphemism for dying or passing away. It refers to the final act of exhaling or breathing out that occurs at the moment of death. For example, you might say “My grandfather peacefully breathed his last in his sleep” or “The wounded soldier struggled to breathe his last after being shot.” The phrase “breathe one’s last” is often used to describe the moment of death in a dignified or respectful way, and is a common expression in obituaries and funeral eulogies.