Pronunciation: (breth), [key]
1. the air inhaled and exhaled in respiration.
2. respiration, esp. as necessary to life.
3. life; vitality.
4. the ability to breathe easily and normally: She stopped to regain her breath.
5. time to breathe; pause or respite: Give him a little breath.
6. a single inhalation or respiration: He took a deep breath.
7. the brief time required for a single respiration; a moment or instant: They gave it to her and took it away all in a breath.
8. a slight suggestion, hint, or whisper: The breath of slander never touched her.
9. a light current of air.
10. Phonet.
a. the air drawn into or expelled from the lungs to provide the generative source for most speech sounds.
b. the audible expiration generating voiceless speech sounds, as (p), (k), (sh), etc.
11. moisture emitted in respiration, esp. when condensed and visible.
12. a trivial circumstance; trifle.
13. an odorous exhalation, or the air impregnated by it.
14. Obs.exhalation or vapor.
15. below or under one's breath, in a low voice or whisper; sotto voce: He protested under his breath because he was afraid to speak up.
16. catch one's breath, to pause or rest before continuing an activity or beginning a new one; resume regular breathing: Let me catch my breath before I begin anything new.
17. in the same breath, at virtually the same time; almost simultaneously: She lost her temper and apologized in the same breath.
18. out of breath, exhausted or gasping for breath, in consequence of an effort; breathless: After climbing to the top of the tower, we were so out of breath that we had to sit down.
19. save one's breath, to avoid futile talk or discussion: We were told to save our breath because the matter had already been decided.
20. take away one's breath, to make one as if breathless with astonishment; surprise; stun: The sheer beauty of the sea took away my breath. Also,take one's breath away.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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