Variously supposed to derive from a Germanic source like Saterland Frisian Briese (“breeze”), West Frisian brys (“a cool wind”), Dutch bries (“breeze”), early Dutch brysen (“to blow cool and fresh”), or from Spanish brisa (“northeast wind”).
The earliest attestations are in Middle English brees (1460), Catalan brisa, and Italian brezza (all in 15th century), with Spanish (1504) and Portuguese briza (16th century) following closely after. The aforementioned Dutch cognates and French brise, however, are attested later than the term in English. The only internal hypothesis for any of those languages is a corruption of Old Occitan bisa (“strong wind”), which is not widely accepted.
breeze (plural breezes)
- A light, gentle wind.
- The breeze rustled the papers on her desk.
- (Can we date this quote?) William Wordsworth
- Into a gradual calm the breezes sink.
- 1907, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, chapter V, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 24962326:
- 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.
- (figuratively) Any activity that is easy, not testing or difficult.
- After studying Latin, Spanish was a breeze.
- (cricket) Wind blowing across a cricket match, whatever its strength.
- Ashes and residue of coal or charcoal, usually from a furnace. See Wikipedia article on Clinker.
- An excited or ruffled state of feeling; a flurry of excitement; a disturbance; a quarrel.
- The discovery produced a breeze.
- see also Thesaurus:wind
- cakewalk, cinch, doddle, piece of cake, walk in the park, walkover; see also Thesaurus:easy thing
- (usually with along) To move casually, in a carefree manner.
- (weather) To blow gently.
- 2014 January 21, Hermione Hoby, “Julia Roberts interview for August: Osage County – 'I might actually go to hell for this ...': Julia Roberts reveals why her violent, Oscar-nominated performance in August: Osage County made her feel 'like a terrible person' [print version: 'I might actually go to hell for this ...' (18 January 2014, p. R4)]”, in The Daily Telegraph (Review):
- She's sitting opposite a window that's gently breezing into her face, wafting her hair into cover-girl perfection ...
- To take a horse under a light run in order to understand the running characteristics of the horse and to observe it while under motion.
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
From Middle English brese, from Old English brēosa, variant of Old English brimsa (“gadfly”), from Proto-Germanic *bremusī (“gadfly”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰerem- (“to make a noise, buzz, hum”). Cognate with Dutch brems (“horsefly, warblefly”), German Bremse (“gadfly, horsefly”), Danish bremse (“gadfly, horsefly”), Swedish broms (“gadfly, horsefly”). Related also to Middle English brimse (“gadfly”), French brize (“gadfly”), Old English bremman (“to rage, roar”), Latin fremō (“roar, snort, growl, grumble”). See also bream.
breeze (plural breezes)