don't hold your breath


Also found in: Acronyms.

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.
See also: breath, hold

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.
See also: breath, hold

don't hold your breath

used to indicate that something is very unlikely to happen.
See also: breath, hold

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
References in periodicals archive ?
Mobile phone yakkers don't hold your breath, this smart footwear won't be on the fashion runways for several years.
Experts said throughout 2000 that prices had to decrease some time, but prices rose by a third during the first three quarters of the year Oil company executives say prices in early 2001 should fall from about US$32 a barrel to a range of $22 to $28 per barrel--but don't hold your breath.
In other words, don't hold your breath that they're going to be coming up with anything anytime soon.
However, don't hold your breath as the various provisions will come into effect on a staggered basis.
But don't hold your breath. Shuster still chairs the transportation committee.
But don't hold your breath. Creating a single antiatom was difficult - and for now, scientists say, making the millions needed for rocket fuel is impossible.
As for tenants with incomes of $250,000 or more being kicked out of the program or their apartments, Margulies said "don't hold your breath" while waiting for the paperwork and the appeals to work through the system.
But don't hold your breath. Microengineers around the world admit that they are still learning to crawl in the unfamiliar territory of microcomponents (SN: 7/1/89, p.8).
To anyone who expects Eastern Europe to be switching to capitalism in a hurry, Chris Bunting, ABC, says don't hold your breath. Bunting ought to know--his company, Continental Golin/Harris Communications, Inc., Toronto, Ont.
It may even have some on Tyneside questioning Saint Rafa, but don't hold your breath.
Actually, don't hold your breath on that because it looks as if the trip will give Sir John Bullock a chance to reveal his true colours; thankfully, Rose does find a knight in shining armour - albeit from an unexpected source.
But don't hold your breath over Mourinho's bid to transform Fernando Torres (right).
The 32-year-old 'Don't Hold Your Breath' hitmaker also insisted that she was not worried about out-doing judges Paula Abdul and Cheryl Cole in the fashion stakes, but promised to 'up her game' when the show reaches the live stages of the contest.
And wouldn't it be great to have him serving you all night?" Perhaps that's how he could make it up to Mackie - but don't hold your breath!