breathe - definition and synonyms


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present tense
present participlebreathing
past tensebreathed
past participlebreathed
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to take air into your lungs through your nose or mouth and let it out again

    He held her so tightly she could hardly breathe.

    We can no longer have confidence in the quality of the air we breathe.

    breathe deeply/hard/heavily (=take a lot of air into your lungs):

    She leant against the door, breathing deeply.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to bring other substances into your mouth or lungs as you breathe

      I don’t want to breathe other people’s smoke.

    2. b.
      [intransitive] to blow air from your mouth onto something
      breathe on:

      She breathed on her glasses then polished them on her shirt.

  2. 2
    [intransitive] clothes that can breathe are made from cloth with very small holes that allow air in
  3. 3
    [transitive] literary to say something very quietly
  4. 4
    [intransitive] if you let wine breathe, you open it a short time before you drink it so that the flavour improves