catch your 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 your ˈbreath

stop breathing for a moment (because of surprise, fear, shock, etc.): The magnificent view made us catch our breath.
See also: breath, catch
References in classic literature ?
No, you FEEL like you are laying dead still on the water; and if a little glimpse of a snag slips by you don't think to yourself how fast YOU'RE going, but you catch your breath and think, my
DID you catch your breath like me when the sound of Ziggy Stardust resounded around the Olympic Stadium at the closing ceremony?
If it's a one-on-one situation, or a small dinner party, as you right yourself after your hoot, wipe your eyes, try to catch your breath, sigh, look at the speaker, do a respectable double take, and wide-eye the person with, "Oh my God, you mean it.
Sometimes it's god to sit back and catch your breath and it's a good day for it.
His audience was just soaking in each joke and rebounding with the kind of laughter that leaves you unable to catch your breath.
Today's versions learn best if you speak at a normal speed and read text material with breaks only to catch your breath.
Farmer's Walk: Shake hands with a farmer, and after you catch your breath and your hand returns to its normal color, you'll understand why we use this exercise.
Catch your breath over a picnic spread before continuing downriver, arriving in town in time for dinner.
When you exceed this point, you become too breathless to carry on a conversation while you work out, and in fact, must cease in order to catch your breath.
Make sure you catch your breath after hearing about any "miracle cure" or surefire treatment.
Free throws offer a break in the game in which to catch your breath and then run a transition play to the hoop.
When you suffer an attack, your airways tighten and you can't catch your breath.
A chance to sit down on a gallery bench, catch your breath, listen to the quiet and savor every detail of an artist's work.