come up for air

come up for air

1. Literally, to raise one's head out of the water (as in the ocean or a pool) in order to breathe. When the swimmer came up for air, she immediately asked what her time was. I can't stay under water for too long without having to come up for air.
2. By extension, to pause in the middle of doing something. When Mary came up for air in her monologue, I was finally able to get a word in about my own weekend! Joe and his new girlfriend have been kissing for so long that I doubt they'll ever come up for air!
See also: air, come, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

come up for air

 
1. Lit. to lift one's head out of the water to breathe. After staying under water for almost a minute, Jason had to come up for air.
2. Fig. to stop what one is doing for a different activity or rest. Whenever you get off the phone and come up for air, I have a question for you. I want you to go to the store for me when you come up for air.
3. Fig. to stop kissing for a moment and breathe. Don't those kids ever come up for air? When are you two going to come up for air?
See also: air, come, up
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

come up for air

in. to pause for a break. The kissers—being only human—had to come up for air eventually. They were taking in money so fast at the box office that there wasn’t a minute to come up for air.
See also: air, come, up
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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