under one's breath


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under (one's) breath

Of speaking, very softly or indistinctly, especially so that one's words can only be heard or understood by oneself. "You'll get what's coming to you one of these days," Janet muttered under her breath. Quit speaking under your breath like that, Steven. Speak up so that I can hear what you're saying!
See also: breath

under one's breath

Softly, in an undertone or whisper, as in "I can't stand one more minute of that music," she muttered under her breath. This idiom, first recorded in 1832, is probably a hyperbole, alluding to a sound that is softer than breathing.
See also: breath