a breath of fresh air

a breath of fresh air

Something that is pleasantly new, different, and refreshing. After dating a series of boring men, Sarah found Peter's adventurous nature to be like a breath of fresh air. The beautiful new paint color is a breath of fresh air for the house.
See also: air, breath, fresh, of

breath of fresh air

 
1. Lit. an influx of air that is not stale or smelly, especially from outdoors. You look ill, John. What you need is a breath of fresh air.
2. Fig. a portion of air that is not "contaminated" with unpleasant people or situations. (This is a sarcastic version of {2}.) You people are disgusting. I have to get out of here and get a breath of fresh air. I believe I'll go get a breath of fresh air. The intellectual atmosphere in here is stifling.
3. Fig. a new, fresh, and imaginative approach (to something). (Usually with like.) Sally, with all her wonderful ideas, is a breath of fresh air. The decor in this room is like a breath of fresh air.
See also: air, breath, fresh, of

breath of fresh air

New and refreshing, as in His arrival was like a breath of fresh air. This term transfers the idea of fresh air to a new approach or welcome arrival, and has largely replaced both the earlier breath of heaven and breath of spring, although the latter is still heard occasionally. [Mid-1800s]
See also: air, breath, fresh, of

a breath of fresh air

COMMON If you describe someone or something as a breath of fresh air, you mean that they are pleasantly different from what you are used to. I think you're a great family and I'm glad I'm going to join you. After the stuffy conversation we have at our dinner table, this is like a breath of fresh air. Brian never wanted to do anything. Life was stagnant. So Mike, my present husband, was a breath of fresh air.
See also: air, breath, fresh, of

a breath of fresh air

1 a small amount of or a brief time in the fresh air. 2 a refreshing change, especially a new person on the scene.
See also: air, breath, fresh, of

a breath of fresh ˈair

a person or thing that is new and different and therefore interesting and exciting: Having these young people living with us is like a breath of fresh air after years on our own.
See also: air, breath, fresh, of
References in classic literature ?
That evening I went out merely to get a breath of fresh air, but one thing followed another-- the weather was cold, all nature was looking mournful, and I had fallen in with Emelia.
Then, without premeditation, we may express our disapproval of such a turn by getting up from our seats and leaving the theatre for a promenade and a breath of fresh air outside, coming back, when the turn is over, to enjoy the rest of the programme.
She had another of her fainting fits this morning, and she asked to go out and get a breath of fresh air.
A breath of fresh air seemed to blow through the house, and something better than sunshine brightened the quiet rooms.
I had come up on deck for a breath of fresh air and to try to get some repose for my overwrought nerves.
Tulliver to put on her bonnet, and get a breath of fresh air by doing that needful piece of work.
Looking out on this, I felt that I was indeed in prison, and I seemed to want a breath of fresh air, though it were of the night.
It was then that one of the men stuck his head up through the hatchway and seeing me, asked permission to come on deck and get a breath of fresh air.
Night had fallen when we made our first change of engine, and I walked down the platform for a breath of fresh air and to see what I could see.
Hester Dethridge wrote: "I wanted eggs for the kitchen, and a breath of fresh air for myself.
Sometimes,' she said, 'when I was that dizzy from the heat of the cooking that if I didn't take a breath of fresh air I'd faint, I'd stick my head out of the kitchen window, and close my eyes and see most wonderful things.
All day long the blazing midsummer sun beat down upon that square mile of abominations: upon tens of thousands of cattle crowded into pens whose wooden floors stank and steamed contagion; upon bare, blistering, cinder-strewn railroad tracks, and huge blocks of dingy meat factories, whose labyrinthine passages defied a breath of fresh air to penetrate them; and there were not merely rivers of hot blood, and car-loads of moist flesh, and rendering vats and soap caldrons, glue factories and fertilizer tanks, that smelt like the craters of hell--there were also tons of garbage festering in the sun, and the greasy laundry of the workers hung out to dry, and dining rooms littered with food and black with flies, and toilet rooms that were open sewers.
The fact is that I felt as though I were choking, and had a perfect longing for a breath of fresh air.
I see no objection to your getting a breath of fresh air the first thing in the morning, or the last thing at night.
The choking fumes of falsehood had taken him by the throat--the thought of being condemned to struggle on and on in that tainted atmosphere without the hope of ever renewing his strength by a breath of fresh air.