with bated breath

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with bated breath

Cliché while holding one's breath. We stood there with bated breath while the man hung on the side of the bridge. They listened with bated breath for the announcement about the winner.
See also: breath

with bated breath

while nervously waiting We watched with bated breath to see if the mother bear would bring her baby back to safety.
See also: breath

with bated breath

if you wait for something with bated breath, you feel very excited or anxious while you are waiting 'His name wasn't by any chance, Max Peters?' Helena asked with bated breath. We were waiting with baited breath for the prizes to be announced.
See also: breath

with bated breath

Eagerly or anxiously, as in We waited for the announcement of the winner with bated breath. This expression literally means "holding one's breath" ( bate means "restrain"). Today it is also used somewhat ironically, indicating one is not all that eager or anxious. [Late 1500s] Also see hold one's breath, def. 2.
See also: breath