with bated breath

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don't hold your breath

Don't expect something to happen. (The idea being that one couldn't hold one's breath long enough for the unlikely thing to happen.) If know you hope Monica comes to the meeting, but don't hold your breath—she hasn't been to one all year.
See also: breath, hold

with bated breath

Eagerly. The phrase suggests that one is breathing shallowly in anticipation of something. I've been waiting with bated breath to hear back from my first-choice school.
See also: breath

Don't hold your breath.

Fig. Do not stop breathing waiting for something to happen that won't happen. (Meaning that it will take longer for it to happen than you can possibly hold your breath.) Tom: The front yard is such a mess. Bob: Bill's supposed to rake the leaves. Tom: Don't hold your breath. He never does his share of the work. Sally: Someone said that gasoline prices would go down. Bob: Oh, yeah? Don't hold your breath.
See also: breath, hold

with bated breath

Cliché while holding one's breath. We stood there with bated breath while the man hung on the side of the bridge. They listened with bated breath for the announcement about the winner.
See also: breath

with bated breath

Eagerly or anxiously, as in We waited for the announcement of the winner with bated breath. This expression literally means "holding one's breath" ( bate means "restrain"). Today it is also used somewhat ironically, indicating one is not all that eager or anxious. [Late 1500s] Also see hold one's breath, def. 2.
See also: breath

with bated breath

COMMON If you wait for something with bated breath, you wait in an anxious or excited way to see what happens next. Flora and I waited with bated breath to hear what Evelyn considered sensible. They got the people in the villages interested in what was going to happen, so they were then watching with bated breath as the experiment began. Note: `Bate' is an old form of `abate', which in this context means `control' or `hold back'.
See also: breath

don't hold your breath

used to indicate that something is very unlikely to happen.
See also: breath, hold

with bated breath

in great suspense; very anxiously or excitedly.
Baited , which is sometimes seen, is a misspelling, since bated in this sense is a shortened form of abated , the idea being that your breathing is lessened under the influence of extreme suspense.
See also: breath

with ˌbated ˈbreath

hardly able to breathe because you are very anxious about something: We watched with bated breath as the lion moved slowly towards him.
See also: breath

with bated breath

Holding one’s breath back in expectation. To bate meant to restrain, but this verb is scarcely heard today except in this cliché, which itself has an archaic sound and often is used ironically. Shakespeare used it in The Merchant of Venice (1.3): “Shall I bend low, and in a bondsman’s key, With bated breath, and whispering humbleness.” A more recent colloquial locution is don’t hold your breath, meaning “don’t wait in vain.”
See also: breath
References in periodicals archive ?
Though she has enough money today to finance her own recreational vehicles, Bate continues to look for ways to leverage outside capital and keep money in her business.
The EP Novo Bate WB (sample group 5) affects a pelt more than other EPs.
Were there any doubt that Jonathan Bate is a quick study, this book should remove it.
Locking him up at Newcastle Crown Court, Judge Simon Hickey told Bates: "That young student was poleaxed, he simply fell straight backwards and was unconscious before he hit the floor and couldn't even put his arms out to protect himself.
A friend of the Crawley Family said: "Anna believes her husband was unjustly accused and she is determined to help Mr Bates prove that he is not responsible for this foul deed.
One officer stopped Liam Bates, who said: "I've done it, I've done it, he killed my brother."
Bates said that once the integration of Apredica into Cyprotex was completed, he has decided to shift his attention and efforts into setting up a new venture.
Dwayne Bates punched him in the face to make him release the blade.
Former Wasps and England scrum-half Bates will end his second coaching spell at the club in unsettlingly similar circumstances to his first - removed before time in the middle of battling to uphold his end of the bargain.
Gray also cites the evaluation of Bates' linguistic notes by JA Fitzherbert in 1931 as 'disjointed, very incomplete and in its present form apt to be misleading'.
As a child at the summer all-comers meets at Hayward Field, Bates would stare down the track at the only familiar faces.
Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, director Laura Faure calls the Bates Dance Festival "a seed bed, a birthing center for new work." It has commissioned works by Mark Dendy, Keigwin + Co., Vincent Mantsoe, and Tamango.
Bates will be responsible for developing and implementing marketing initiatives aimed at increasing tenant leasing and driving traffic to each of Ariel's six outlet centers located in California, Nevada, Missouri, Minnesota, Michigan, and Georgia.
Bates, author of A Church at War: Anglicans and Homosexuality, was a featured speaker at the symposium sponsored by Toronto's St.
Ken Pruitt for trying to help newly admitted attorney Aaron Bates. The wheelchair-reliant Bates deserves to work as an assistant state attorney.