be holding (one's) breath

(redirected from be holding somebody's breath)

be holding (one's) breath

To be waiting for something specific to happen. The phrase often has a negative connotation. The electrician said he'd be here before noon, but I'm not holding my breath. She wrote a letter of complaint to the airline asking for a refund, but she isn't holding her breath.
See also: breath, holding

be holding your breath

COMMON If you are holding your breath, you are waiting anxiously or excitedly to see what happens next. She had been holding her breath and hoping that the agreement would be signed. The world is holding its breath as we begin to negotiate the future of our country. Note: You can also say that you aren't holding your breath to mean that you are not expecting a particular thing to happen, or you can say don't hold your breath to tell someone that they should not expect something to happen. `I'm not holding my breath', he admits. `There are no guarantees in this game.' The Chancellor has predicted Britain will drag itself out of the slump — but don't hold your breath, because he doesn't know when.
See also: breath, holding