—v.i. 1. to take air, oxygen, etc., into the lungs and expel it; inhale and exhale; respire.
2. (in speech) to control the outgoing breath in producing voice and speech sounds.
3. to pause, as for breath; take rest: How about giving me a chance to breathe? 4. to move gently or blow lightly, as air.
5. to live; exist: Hardly a man breathes who has not known great sorrow. 6. to be redolent of.
7. (of a material) to allow air and moisture to pass through easily: The jacket is comfortable because the fabric breathes. 8. (of the skin) to absorb oxygen and give off perspiration.
9. (of a wine) to be exposed to air after being uncorked, in order to develop flavor and bouquet.
—v.t. 1. to inhale and exhale in respiration.
2. to exhale: Dragons breathe fire. 3. to inject as if by breathing; infuse: She breathed life into the party. 4. to give utterance to; whisper.
5. to express; manifest.
6. to allow to rest or recover breath: to breathe a horse. 7. to deprive of breath; tire; exhaust.
8. to cause to pant; exercise.
9. breathe down someone's neck, a. to be close to someone in pursuit; menace; threaten: Police from four states were breathing down his neck. b. to watch someone closely so as to supervise or control: If everyone keeps breathing down my neck, how can I get my work done? 10. breathe freely, to have relief from anxiety, tension, or pressure: Now that the crisis was over, he could breathe freely.Also,breathe easily,breathe easy. 11. breathe one's last, to die: He breathed his last and was buried in the churchyard. 12. not breathe a word or syllable, to maintain secrecy; keep a matter confidential: I'll tell you if you promise not to breathe a word.