- breathe [ brið ] verb **1. ) intransitive or 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 depend on the quality of the air we breathe.breathe deeply/hard/heavily (=take a lot of air into your lungs): She leaned against the door, breathing deeply.a ) transitive to bring other substances into your mouth or lungs as you breathe:I don't want to breathe other people's smoke.b ) intransitive breathe on to blow air from your mouth onto something:She breathed on her glasses then polished them on her shirt.2. ) transitive LITERARY to say something very quietly3. ) intransitive clothes that can breathe are made from cloth with very small holes that allow air in4. ) intransitive if you let wine breathe, you open it a short time before you drink it so that the flavor improvesbreathe down someone's neckto watch closely what someone is doing, in a way that annoys thembreathe (easily/freely) againto relax because you are no longer in a difficult or dangerous situation:We found that file, so you can breathe again.breathe your last (breath) LITERARYto diebreathe (new) life into somethingto provide something with new ideas, new energy, etc., so that it improves and is more likely to be successful againbreathe a sigh of reliefto stop worrying because something bad is no longer likely to happenbreathing fire INFORMALvery angrynot breathe a wordto keep something a secret:Promise me that you won't breathe a word about this to Anna.,breathe `in phrasal verbintransitive or transitive to take air into your lungs through your nose or mouth:It hurts when I breathe in.a. transitive to take other substances into your lungs through your nose or mouth:They needed medical treatment after breathing in toxic fumes.,breathe `out phrasal verbintransitive or transitive to send air out of your lungs through your nose or mouth:Now breathe out slowly.a. transitive to send other substances out of your lungs through your nose or mouth:We breathe in air and breathe out carbon dioxide.
Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.