catch one's breath


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Related to catch one's breath: bated, in the same breath

catch (one's) breath

1. To resume or try to resume breathing normally after a physically taxing activity that results in heavy breathing. Can we stop for a minute? I need to catch my breath—I can't run as fast as you guys!
2. To stop breathing momentarily as a result of fear or surprise. I caught my breath when I saw the gruesome injuries Adam had sustained in the accident.
See also: breath, catch

catch one's breath

1. Resume normal breathing after physical exertion of some kind, as in These stairs are steep; wait a minute till I catch my breath. This phrase once meant the same as hold one's breath-that is, stop breathing momentarily-a usage no longer current. [Early 1800s]
2. Relax, take a rest, as in Events have been moving so fast I'd like to stop and catch my breath. [First half of 1900s]
See also: breath, catch
References in periodicals archive ?
Things are no longer moving along at the break-neck pace they were last year, but the slight hesitation is welcome, one can catch one's breath.
Such triggers cause the muscles surrounding the airways to contract, leading to an inability to catch one's breath.
Pausing to catch one's breath at this image of armed canvassers pushing across the border with registration on their minds, one notes that the improvised lying of the State Department raises a thorny question for Congress.