Under one's breath
Breath Breath (br[e^]th), n. [OE. breth, breeth, AS. br[=ae][eth] odor, scent, breath; cf. OHG. br[=a]dam steam, vapor, breath, G. brodem, and possibly E. {Brawn}, and {Breed}.] 1. The air inhaled and exhaled in respiration; air which, in the process of respiration, has parted with oxygen and has received carbonic acid, aqueous vapor, warmth, etc. [1913 Webster]

Melted as breath into the wind. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. The act of breathing naturally or freely; the power or capacity to breathe freely; as, I am out of breath. [1913 Webster]

3. The power of respiration, and hence, life. --Hood. [1913 Webster]

Thou takest away their breath, they die. --Ps. civ. 29. [1913 Webster]

4. Time to breathe; respite; pause. [1913 Webster]

Give me some breath, some little pause. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

5. A single respiration, or the time of making it; a single act; an instant. [1913 Webster]

He smiles and he frowns in a breath. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

6. Fig.: That which gives or strengthens life. [1913 Webster]

The earthquake voice of victory, To thee the breath of life. --Byron. [1913 Webster]

7. A single word; the slightest effort; a trifle. [1913 Webster]

A breath can make them, as a breath has made. --Goldsmith. [1913 Webster]

8. A very slight breeze; air in gentle motion. [1913 Webster]

Calm and unruffled as a summer's sea, when not a breath of wind flies o'er its surface. --Addison. [1913 Webster]

9. Fragrance; exhalation; odor; perfume. --Tennison. [1913 Webster]

The breath of flowers. --Bacon. [1913 Webster]

10. Gentle exercise, causing a quicker respiration. [1913 Webster]

An after dinner's breath. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

{Out of breath}, breathless, exhausted; breathing with difficulty.

{Under one's breath}, in low tones. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • under one's breath — {adv. phr.} In a whisper; with a low voice. * /The teacher heard the boy say something under his breath and she asked him to repeat it aloud./ * /I told Lucy the news under my breath, but Joyce overheard me./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • under one's breath — {adv. phr.} In a whisper; with a low voice. * /The teacher heard the boy say something under his breath and she asked him to repeat it aloud./ * /I told Lucy the news under my breath, but Joyce overheard me./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • under one's breath — ► under one s breath in a very quiet voice. Main Entry: ↑breath …   English terms dictionary

  • under one's breath — phrasal see below one s breath * * * under one s breath In a low voice ● breath * * * under (or below) one s breath in a very quiet voice; almost inaudibly he swore violently under his breath. Compare with sotto voce …   Useful english dictionary

  • under\ one's\ breath — adv. phr. In a whisper; with a low voice. The teacher heard the boy say something under his breath and she asked him to repeat it aloud. I told Lucy the news under my breath, but Joyce overheard me …   Словарь американских идиом

  • under one's breath — phrasal so as to be barely audible < mumbled something under his breath > …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • under one's breath — in a whisper, with a low voice He was talking under his breath in the movie theater and someone complained …   Idioms and examples

  • under one's breath — adverb softly, so as not to be heard Syn: sotto voce …   Wiktionary

  • under one's breath — quietly, whisperingly …   English contemporary dictionary

  • below or under one's breath — idi below or under one s breath, in a low voice or whisper …   From formal English to slang

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