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breathe - Wiktionary


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English Wikipedia has articles on:breathe Wikipedia


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.



breathe (third-person singular simple present breathes, present participle breathing, simple past and past participle breathed)

  1. (intransitive) To draw air into (inhale), and expel air from (exhale), the lungs in order to extract oxygen and excrete waste gases.
  2. (intransitive) To take in needed gases and expel waste gases in a similar way.
    Fish have gills so they can breathe underwater.
  3. (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.
  4. (intransitive, figuratively) To live.
    I will not allow it, as long as I still breathe.
    • (Can we date this quote by Shakespeare and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      I am in health, I breathe.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Sir Walter Scott
      Breathes there a man with soul so dead?
  5. (transitive) To draw something into the lungs.
    Try not to breathe too much smoke.
  6. (intransitive) To expel air from the lungs, exhale.
    If you breathe on a mirror, it will fog up.
  7. (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.
  8. (transitive) To give an impression of, to exude.
    The decor positively breathes classical elegance.
  9. (transitive) To whisper quietly.
    He breathed the words into her ear, but she understood them all.
  10. To pass like breath; noiselessly or gently; to emanate; to blow gently.
    The wind breathes through the trees.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Shakespeare
      The air breathes upon us here most sweetly.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Byron
      There breathes a living fragrance from the shore.
  11. (intransitive) To exchange gases with the environment.
    Garments made of certain new materials breathe well and keep the skin relatively dry during exercise.
  12. (intransitive, now rare) To rest; to stop and catch one's breath.
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, chapter 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
    • (Can we date this quote?) Shakespeare
      Well! breathe awhile, and then to it again!
  13. (transitive) To stop, to give (a horse) an opportunity to catch its breath.
    At higher altitudes you need to breathe your horse more often.
  14. (transitive) To exercise; to tire by brisk exercise.
  15. (transitive, figuratively) To passionately devote much of one's life to (an activity, etc.).
    Do you like hiking? Are you kidding? I breathe hiking.


conjugation of breathe infinitivebreathe present participlebreathing past participlebreathed simple progressive perfect perfect progressive presentI breathe we breathe I am breathing we are breathing I have breathed we have breathed I have been breathing we have been breathing you breathe you breathe you are breathing you are breathing you have breathed you have breathed you have been breathing you have been breathing he breathes they breathe he is breathing they are breathing he has breathed they have breathed he has been breathing they have been breathing pastI breathed we breathed I was breathing we were breathing I had breathed we had breathed I had been breathing we had been breathing you breathed you breathed you were breathing you were breathing you had breathed you had breathed you had been breathing you had been breathing he breathed they breathed he was breathing they were breathing he had breathed they had breathed he had been breathing they had been breathing futureI will breathe we will breathe I will be breathing we will be breathing I will have breathed we will have breathed I will have been breathing we will have been breathing you will breathe you will breathe you will be breathing you will be breathing you will have breathed you will have breathed you will have been breathing you will have been breathing he will breathe they will breathe he will be breathing they will be breathing he will have breathed they will have breathed he will have been breathing they will have been breathing conditionalI would breathe we would breathe I would be breathing we would be breathing I would have breathed we would have breathed I would have been breathing we would have been breathing you would breathe you would breathe you would be breathing you would be breathing you would have breathed you would have breathed you would have been breathing you would have been breathing he would breathe they would breathe he would be breathing they would be breathing he would have breathed they would have breathed he would have been breathing they would have been breathing imperativebreathe


Derived terms[edit]

Terms derived from breathe

Related terms[edit]


to draw air in and out to exchange gases in similar way to use gas to sustain life figuratively: to live to draw into lungs to expel air from the lungs to pass like breath to give an impression of to whisper quietly to exchange gases with the environment to stop and catch one's breath to give an opportunity to catch breath (figurative) to be passionately devoted to
  • Japanese: (…に)熱中する ((…ni) netchuu suru)
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.
Translations to be checked


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