with bated breath

(redirected from 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 classic literature ?
Not a sound broke the stillness when Allan a Dale had done, but all sat gazing at the handsome singer, for so sweet was his voice and the music that each man sat with bated breath, lest one drop more should come and he should lose it.
One afternoon he went out with Arthur to the University of California, and, with bated breath and a feeling of religious awe, went through the laboratories, saw demonstrations, and listened to a physics professor lecturing to his classes.
"And the wood and stone, holy father?" asked Alleyne, with bated breath, as he stared awe-struck at his precious relics.
It is spoken of in the village to this day with bated breath and awful joy.
Poole disinterred the axe from under a stack of packing straw; the candle was set upon the nearest table to light them to the attack; and they drew near with bated breath to where that patient foot was still going up and down, up and down, in the quiet of the night.
His lieutenants had worked so hard from five o'clock until eleven, that they actually had collected a hundred thousand roubles for him, but at such terrific expense, that the rate of interest was only mentioned among them in whispers and with bated breath.
Summary: New Delhi (India), May 23 (ANI): While the entire nation is waiting with bated breath to know who will win the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, actor Sunny Leone wants to know by how many votes she is leading in the general elections!
Returning to the Super Bowl after a 13-year hiatus, Burger King will have quite a few industry observers watching with bated breath.
Pakistan goes to the polls on Wednesday, July 25, as the nation, its politicians and local and foreign observers anticipate with bated breath one of the most-watched elections in the country's history.
That's 'cos we're the ones who use it And it's easy to abuse it, But we really can't excuse it As we wait with bated breath. It is really horrifying That there's millions out there dying.
SPORTS fans south of the Border may have waited with bated breath for their first game in the World Cup.
And the Iranians await those answers with bated breath because a very short rope connects Tehran to North Korea.
I watched the lift-off with bated breath and cheered excitedly as it went without a hitch.
THERE'S a spider right behind you He waits with bated breath Will this day be fatal Will he be crushed to death He can't run because he's petrified If you could you'd hear him say Please, please pretty lady, don't kill me today!
Gavota 2.10 Lingfield SP forecast 4-5 There was market confidence behind this daughter of Bated Breath before her debut in a 6f novice event at Newmarket and she stayed on strongly to win by a short-head from once-raced market rival Daybreak, with the front two clear of Goodnight Girl, who reopposes.