catch (one's) breath

(redirected from catch his breath)

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

1. Resume normal breathing after physical exertion of some kind, as in These stairs are steep; wait a minute till I catch my breath. This phrase once meant the same as hold one's breath-that is, stop breathing momentarily-a usage no longer current. [Early 1800s]
2. Relax, take a rest, as in Events have been moving so fast I'd like to stop and catch my breath. [First half of 1900s]
See also: breath, catch
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

catch your ˈbreath

stop breathing for a moment (because of surprise, fear, shock, etc.): The magnificent view made us catch our breath.
See also: breath, catch
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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 classic literature ?
The spectators had settled themselves for an interesting engagement of at least average duration when they were brought almost standing by a brilliant flash of rapid swordplay that was over ere one could catch his breath. They saw the Black Chief step quickly back, his point upon the ground, while his opponent, his sword slipping from his fingers, clutched his breast, sank to his knees and then lunged forward upon his face.
The vision made him catch his breath. But he turned lightly away.
Blair Alston had to beg his Bairns pals to let him catch his breath after a crush of bodies following his winner.
He rode Argocat (Jewson Novices Chase) and Stonemaster (Pertemps Final) in the opening races yesterday, but felt unwell, finding it difficult to catch his breath.
She told the Brecon inquest: "Prasad surfaced a couple of times but couldn't catch his breath."
VIRGIN Racing team principal John Booth has revealed he has barely had time to catch his breath since pitching up in Monaco.
The Body Shop was busy and the assistant was on her own but she found us a chair and at last, my father could catch his breath and warm up a little.
Morrison said: "It's safe to say Richie Rawlins (Albion's physio) can barely catch his breath at the moment.
FAB FLOURNOY was still trying to catch his breath after taking charge of an extraordinary game that left the play-caller proudly hugging the one trophy he has wanted to win all year.
"Just last night," she went on, "he cried for half an hour, without once stopping to catch his breath."
To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, November 2003: Young Salz, who suffers from terrible coughs and often cannot catch his breath, lives in the medieval German town of Hameln.
Gaz may have to pause halfway through the frantic scramble of Caught By The Fuzz to catch his breath these days, but tracks like Sitting Up Straight and Lose It still sound as fresh as they did 10 years ago.
Too many lodged in his throat, and he couldn't catch his breath.
(He could have been a character in an early Saul Bellow novel.) Only when he'd gotten around to a funny anecdote, which was often enough, and then laughed himself into a coughing fit telling it, did he catch his breath.
"One is allowed to catch his breath when he completes one of the largest acquisitions of the decade."