catch one's breath


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

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 This phrase once meant the same as hold one's breath-that is, stop breathing momentarily-a usage no longer current.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