Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Breath.

E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
All in a breath. Without taking breath. (Latin, continenti spiritu.)   1
   It takes away one’s breath. The news is so astounding it causes one to hold his breath with surprise.   2
   Out of breath. Panting from exertion; temporarily short of breath.   3
   Save your breath to cool your porridge. Don’t talk to me, it is only wasting your breath.   4
        “You might have saved your breath to cool your porridge.”—Mrs. Gaskell: Libbie Marsh (Era 111).
   To catch one’s breath. To check suddenly the free act of breathing.   5
        “‘I see her,’ replied I, catching my breath with joy.”—Capt. Marryat: Peter Simple.
   To hold one’s breath. Voluntarily to cease breathing for a time.   6
   To take breath. To cease for a little time from some exertion in order to recover from exhaustion of breath.   7
   Under one’s breath. In a whisper or undertone of voice.   8



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