Pronunciation: (brē&thslash;), [key]
—v., breathedPronunciation: (brē&thslash;d), [key] breath•ing.
1. to take air, oxygen, etc., into the lungs and expel it; inhale and exhale; respire.
2. (in speech) to control the outgoing breath in producing voice and speech sounds.
3. to pause, as for breath; take rest: How about giving me a chance to breathe?
4. to move gently or blow lightly, as air.
5. to live; exist: Hardly a man breathes who has not known great sorrow.
6. to be redolent of.
7. (of a material) to allow air and moisture to pass through easily: The jacket is comfortable because the fabric breathes.
8. (of the skin) to absorb oxygen and give off perspiration.
9. (of a wine) to be exposed to air after being uncorked, in order to develop flavor and bouquet.
1. to inhale and exhale in respiration.
2. to exhale: Dragons breathe fire.
3. to inject as if by breathing; infuse: She breathed life into the party.
4. to give utterance to; whisper.
5. to express; manifest.
6. to allow to rest or recover breath: to breathe a horse.
7. to deprive of breath; tire; exhaust.
8. to cause to pant; exercise.
9. breathe down someone's neck,
a. to be close to someone in pursuit; menace; threaten: Police from four states were breathing down his neck.
b. to watch someone closely so as to supervise or control: If everyone keeps breathing down my neck, how can I get my work done?
10. breathe freely, to have relief from anxiety, tension, or pressure: Now that the crisis was over, he could breathe freely. Also,breathe easily,breathe easy.
11. breathe one's last, to die: He breathed his last and was buried in the churchyard.
12. not breathe a word or syllable, to maintain secrecy; keep a matter confidential: I'll tell you if you promise not to breathe a word.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.