below (one's) breath

(redirected from below his breath)

below (one's) breath

Quietly. Often used to describe an aside that one has muttered. What did you just said below your breath? Come on, say it to my face! He's always saying things below his breath, and it gets on my nerves! Why can't he just speak up with some confidence?
See also: below, breath
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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References in classic literature ?
'How much allegiance do you owe to that man?' he asked below his breath, as he stood beside me at the window, affecting to be making observations on the weather.
I had not at that time seen the ideal presentment of this chamber which has since gratified me so much, but I observed that one of our friends who had made the arrangements for our voyage, turned pale on entering, retreated on the friend behind him., smote his forehead involuntarily, and said below his breath, 'Impossible!
"A bathroom bolt," he cried below his breath, "and no bath in the room!
'And they likewise, bound upon the Wheel, go forth from life to life - from despair to despair,' said the lama below his breath, 'hot, uneasy, snatching.'
"I never was more serious in my life," he continued below his breath. "Whatever else our successor may be, he's not a dead man like me, or a marked man like you.
They stood beside the helmsman at the wheel, the look-out in the bow, the officers who had the watch; dark, ghostly figures in their several stations; but every man among them hummed a Christmas tune, or had a Christmas thought, or spoke below his breath to his companion of some bygone Christmas Day, with homeward hopes belonging to it.