Word of the Day: Breath

breath / breTH


1. air which is inhaled and exhaled during respiration

Communication is to relationships what breath is to life.

Virginia Satir, 1916-1988


2. air which is carried from the mouth

Better the cold blast of winter than the hot breath of a pursuing elephant.

Chinese Proverb


3. life

A human being is only breath and shadow.

Sophocles, c. 496 BC – c. 406 BC


4. a light breeze

Worldly fame is but a breath of wind that blows now this way, and now that, and changes name as it changes direction.

Dante Alighieri, 1265-1321


5. a small indication; a hint

Perfect love has a breath of poetry which can exalt the relations of the least-instructed human beings.

from ‘Silas Marner’ by George Eliot, 1819-1880


6. the amount of time it takes to inhale and exhale

I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart.

from ‘The Bell Jar’ by Sylvia Plath, 1932-1963


7. the faculty of respiration

How art thou out of breath when thou hast breath/ To say to me that thou art out of breath?

from ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by William Shakespeare, 1564-1616