From Middle English brethen (“to breathe, blow, exhale, odour”), derived from Middle English breth (“breath”). Eclipsed Middle English ethien and orðiæn, from Old English ēþian and orþian (“to breathe”); as well as Middle English anden, onden, from Old Norse anda (“to breathe”). More at breath.
- (Received Pronunciation) enPR: brēth, IPA(key): /bɹiːð/
- (General American) IPA(key): /bɹið/
Audio (GA) (file)
- Rhymes: -iːð
- (intransitive) To draw air into (inhale), and expel air from (exhale), the lungs in order to extract oxygen and excrete waste gases.
- (intransitive) To take in needed gases and expel waste gases in a similar way.
- Fish have gills so they can breathe underwater.
- (transitive) To inhale (a gas) to sustain life.
- While life as we know it depends on oxygen, scientists have speculated that alien life forms might breathe chlorine or methane.
- (intransitive, figurative) To live.
- I will not allow it, as long as I still breathe.
- 1595 December 9 (first known performance), William Shakespeare, “The life and death of King Richard the Second”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene i]:
- I am in health, I breathe.
- (transitive) To draw something into the lungs.
- Try not to breathe too much smoke.
- (intransitive) To expel air from the lungs, exhale.
- If you breathe on a mirror, it will fog up.
- (transitive) To exhale or expel (something) in the manner of breath.
- The flowers breathed a heady perfume.
- 2012, Timothy Groves, The Book Of Creatures, →ISBN, page 85:
- Mountain Drakes breathe fire, Ice Drakes breathe ice, Swamp Drakes breathe acid, and Forest Drakes breathe lightning.
- (transitive) To give an impression of, to exude.
- The decor positively breathes classical elegance.
- (transitive) To whisper quietly.
- He breathed the words into her ear, but she understood them all.
- To pass like breath; noiselessly or gently; to emanate; to blow gently.
- The wind breathes through the trees.
- 1812–1818, Lord Byron, “(please specify |canto=I to IV)”, in Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage. A Romaunt, London: Printed for John Murray, […]; William Blackwood, Edinburgh; and John Cumming, Dublin; by Thomas Davison, […], →OCLC, (please specify the stanza number):
- There breathes a living fragrance from the shore.
- (chiefly Evangelical and Charismatic Christianity, with God as agent) To inspire (scripture).
- 1850, John Howard Hinton, On the Divine Inspiration of the Scriptures. A lecture, etc, page 16:
- The affirmation before us, then, will be, "All scripture is divinely breathed."
- 1917, J. C. Ferdinand Pittman, Bible Truths Illustrated: For the Use of Preachers, Teachers, Bible-school, Christian Endeavor, Temperance and Other Christian Workers, page 168:
- […] that God, who breathed the Scriptures, "cannot lie," […]
- 2010, Jay E. Adams, The Christian Counselor's Manual: The Practice of Nouthetic Counseling, Zondervan, →ISBN:
- Paul says that since God breathed the Scriptures, they are therefore useful; he did not put it the other way around (i.e., that they are useful, therefore inspired).
- (intransitive) To exchange gases with the environment.
- Garments made of certain new materials breathe well and keep the skin relatively dry during exercise.
- (intransitive, now rare) To rest; to stop and catch one's breath.
- 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, “lxiiij”, in Le Morte Darthur, book X:
- Thenne they lasshed to gyder many sad strokes / & tracyd and trauercyd now bakward / now sydelyng hurtlyng to gyders lyke two bores / & that same tyme they felle both grouelyng to the erthe / Thus they fought styll withoute ony reposynge two houres and neuer brethed
- (please add an English translation of this quotation)
- c. 1597 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The First Part of Henry the Fourth, […]”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene iv]:
- Well! breathe awhile, and then to it again!
- (transitive) To stop, to give (a horse) an opportunity to catch its breath.
- At higher altitudes you need to breathe your horse more often.
- (transitive) To exercise; to tire by brisk exercise.
- (transitive, figurative) To passionately devote much of one's life to (an activity, etc.).
- Do you like hiking? Are you kidding? I breathe hiking.
|present tense||past tense|
|2nd-person singular||breathe, breathest†||breathed, breathedst†|
|3rd-person singular||breathes, breatheth†||breathed|
Derived terms Edit
- as I live and breathe
- breathe again
- breathe a sigh of relief
- breathe a word
- breathe down someone's neck
- breathe easy
- breathe freely
- breathe in
- breathe one's last
- breathe one's last breath
- breathe out
- breathe upon
- breathing gas
- breathing room
- breathing space
- breathing spell
- buddy breathe
- stagger breathe
Related terms Edit
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.