catch (one's) breath

(redirected from caught my 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

Fig. to struggle for normal breathing after strenuous activity. The jogger stopped to catch her breath. It took Jimmy a minute to catch his breath after being punched in the stomach.
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 This phrase once meant the same as hold one's breath-that is, stop breathing momentarily-a usage no longer current.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

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

catch (one's) breath

To rest so as to be able to continue an activity.
See also: breath, catch
References in classic literature ?
I gasped, caught my breath painfully, and opened my eyes.
We got front seats, and while the train moved along about fifty yards on level ground, I was not the least frightened; but now it started abruptly downstairs, and I caught my breath.
The foremost thing I saw there by the light of the candle I had left burning was that Flora's little bed was empty; and on this I caught my breath with all the terror that, five minutes before, I had been able to resist.
After that, when I had caught my breath, I might think about my future.
As I caught my breath at the sheer bravura of this remark, Wallace admitted, "And yet we still feel the chill," and I thought, for one deluded second, that ABC might come clean.