catch breath

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catch (one's) breath

1. To resume or try to resume breathing normally after a physically taxing activity that results in heavy breathing. Can we stop for a minute? I need to catch my breath—I can't run as fast as you guys!
2. To stop breathing momentarily as a result of fear or surprise. I caught my breath when I saw the gruesome injuries Adam had sustained in the accident.
See also: breath, catch
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

catch one's breath

Fig. to struggle for normal breathing after strenuous activity. The jogger stopped to catch her breath. It took Jimmy a minute to catch his breath after being punched in the stomach.
See also: breath, catch
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

catch (one's) breath

To rest so as to be able to continue an activity.
See also: breath, catch
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
But it's not all high drama, as the physical routines - most notably a girly night in front of the video - provide light relief and enable the audience to catch breath and take stock.
JACKSON IRVINE 6 Rarely stopped to catch breath but often snarled up in cramped, messy midfield battle.
Then again, the international break might just have come at the right time; when you are winning, you don't want to stop but given Liverpool's results over the last few weeks, it might be best for everyone to catch breath and start again.
They worked out that, where R is rolls, L is loops, M is moments to catch breath. FF is fear factor, S is speed, V is vertical drop and A is anticipation, so fun equals: R + L/M + (FF x S x V x A).
While it was dull in the first period, there was hardly a moment to catch breath in the closing stages with Falkirk deserving their victory.
In his eagerness to finish the contest, Reid inflicted a low blow which saw proceedings halted for Adamovitch to catch breath.
And MacDonald revealed he had barely had time to catch breath between the birth of his new son and Saturday's contest.
At last many students will have gained the grades and accepted their places, so now is an ideal opportunity to catch breath and look forward to student life and - of course - putting in some serious study.
She blew the hard-serving qualifier Stevenson off court before the youngster could even catch breath.
There was barely time to catch breath when the lead was doubled amid more shambolic defending.
In normal circumstances, the weekend would provide much needed chance to catch breath, but the chance would be a fine thing for the Blues, who have now crossed the border to play River Plate - champions of Argentina on 33 occasions - in Edmonton.
'I decided I would not carry on milking cows past my 50th birthday,' explains the man who became president of the NFU four months ago and has hardly had the chance to catch breath since.
The visitors barely had time to catch breath before Williams masterminded the second goal with a pass which Brodie drove home from 15 yards.
The players will return from the US this morning and there will be time to catch breath and assess their work.
ROBERT ELSTONE has barely had chance to catch breath since he took his new role, but he has been quick to pay tribute to those who have helped make the switch seamless.