don't hold your breath(redirected from do not hold your breath)
don't hold your breath
Don't expect something to happen. (The idea being that one couldn't hold one's breath long enough for the unlikely thing to happen.) If know you hope Monica comes to the meeting, but don't hold your breath—she hasn't been to one all year.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Don't hold your breath.
Fig. Do not stop breathing waiting for something to happen that won't happen. (Meaning that it will take longer for it to happen than you can possibly hold your breath.) Tom: The front yard is such a mess. Bob: Bill's supposed to rake the leaves. Tom: Don't hold your breath. He never does his share of the work. Sally: Someone said that gasoline prices would go down. Bob: Oh, yeah? Don't hold your breath.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
don't hold your breathused to indicate that something is very unlikely to happen.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
with bated breath
Holding one’s breath back in expectation. To bate meant to restrain, but this verb is scarcely heard today except in this cliché, which itself has an archaic sound and often is used ironically. Shakespeare used it in The Merchant of Venice (1.3): “Shall I bend low, and in a bondsman’s key, With bated breath, and whispering humbleness.” A more recent colloquial locution is don’t hold your breath, meaning “don’t wait in vain.”
See also: breath
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer