gasp

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Related to gasps: gasp for breath

at the last gasp

At the last possible moment or opportunity. I know they've been squabbling for weeks, but I think they'll reach an agreement at the last gasp. We all thought that Molly wouldn't make it to the meeting, but she arrived at the last gasp.
See also: gasp, last

gasp at (someone or something)

To make a sharp or sudden inhale ("gasp") in surprise at someone or something. I gasped at my mom when she told me I wasn't allowed to go to the party. We all gasped at the news of Mary's pregnancy.
See also: gasp

gasp for air

To gasp or pant heavily due to having difficulty breathing, as after strenuous activity or holding one's breath. Kelsey's head popped out of the water, and she started gasping for air. The kids sprinted up the steps and were gasping for air by the time they arrived on the fourth floor.
See also: air, for, gasp

gasp for breath

To gasp or pant heavily due to having difficulty breathing, as after strenuous activity or holding one's breath. Kelsey's head popped out of the water, and she started gasping for breath. The kids sprinted up the steps and were gasping for breath by the time they arrived on the fourth floor.
See also: breath, for, gasp

gasp out

To say something with difficulty or in a labored manner. A noun or pronoun can be used between "gasp" and "out." Luckily, the patient managed to gasp her symptoms out before collapsing. Kelsey's head popped out of the water, and she immediately gasped out, "How long was I under?"
See also: gasp, out

last-gasp

Final, usually drastic or risky, with failure as the only alternative. The home team is mounting one last-gasp attempt in the final seconds of the game to try to force an overtime showdown. In a last-gasp effort to avoid a government shutdown, congress has pushed forward a new spending bill.

last-gasp effort

A final, usually drastic or risky attempt, with failure as the only alternative. The home team is mounting one last-gasp effort in the final seconds of the game to try to force an overtime showdown. In a last-gasp effort to avoid a government shutdown, Congress has pushed forward a new spending bill.
See also: effort

the last gasp of (something)

The final part before the end of something, such as a period, movement, etc. Some say we're seeing the last gasp of capitalism, but I think that view ignores a lot of factors.
See also: gasp, last, of

the/(one's) last gasp

1. The final moment before one dies; the last period of one's life. Even though my grandfather's lungs were riddled with cancer and emphysema, he remained a smoker until his very last gasp. The soldiers of the kingdom vowed to defend it to the last gasp.
2. The last moment before a person or group ultimately fails or must give up. We might be down by 10 points, but we have to keep on fighting to the last gasp! Even as their stocks plummeted, the company maintained a public image of success right to their last gasp. Some say we're seeing capitalism's last gasp, but I think that view ignores a lot of factors.
3. One's or something's final attempt to succeed or else face failure, death, destruction, etc. The play was their last gasp to tie the game, but the quarterback fumbled the snap. Many see this latest video game console as the company's last gasp, especially following the disastrous flop of their last one.
See also: gasp, last
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

at the last gasp

Fig. at the very last; at the last chance; at the last minute. (Refers to someone's last breath before death.) She finally showed up at the last gasp, bringing the papers that were needed. We got there at the last gasp, just before our names were called.
See also: gasp, last

gasp at someone or something

to inhale sharply in surprise or shock at someone or something. I gasped at the sight that lay before me. I saw how weary Denise looked and I gasped at her.
See also: gasp

gasp for air

to fight for a breath of air. (After one has been deprived of air.) Walter popped to the surface of the water and gasped for air. The injured dog appeared to be gasping for air.
See also: air, for, gasp

gasp for breath

to labor for one's breath. (Usually because of physical exertion.) She ran and ran until she was gasping for breath. The diver finally came to the surface, gasping for breath.
See also: breath, for, gasp

gasp something out

to utter something, gasping. She gasped the words out haltingly. Dan was just able to gasp out the instructions before he passed out.
See also: gasp, out
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

last gasp

The moment before death; also, the end. For example, "Fight till the last gasp" (Shakespeare, 1 Henry VI, 1:2), or He was determined to stay at the party until the last gasp. This idiom alludes to taking one's last breath, literally (first example) or figuratively (second example). [Late 1500s]
See also: gasp, last
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.

the last gasp

COMMON The last gasp of a long process or period of time is the very last active stage of it. The summer of '92 may be looked upon with nostalgia as the last gasp of the live rock concert era. Eleven thousand years ago, at the last gasp of the ice age, the area was covered with forest. Note: You can also use last gasp before a noun to say that something is achieved at the last possible moment. Dalziel watched his side snatch a last gasp victory with two late goals. Note: These phrases come from 2 Maccabes 7:9 in the Apocrypha of the Bible. Seven brothers and their mother were tortured by King Antiochus, and one of the brothers spoke out defiantly `when he was at his last gasp', or when he was dying.
See also: gasp, last
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

your (or the) last gasp

the point of death, exhaustion, or completion.
1996 Will Hutton The State We're In The failure of the 1994 rail strike was the last gasp of an old order.
See also: gasp, last
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

your/the last ˈgasp

the point at which you/something can no longer continue living, fighting, existing, etc: People are saying that the group’s latest actions are simply the last gasp of a dying campaign.
A gasp is a quick deep breath.
See also: gasp, last
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

last gasp, the

Nearing the end; on the point of death. The gasp here literally means one’s breath, but the term often is used loosely to mean either extremely tired (exhausted) or a final effort. In the first meaning the term appears in one of the Apocryphal books of the Bible (2 Maccabees 7:9) and in Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Part I, 1.2, where Joan of Arc tells Charles, “Fight till the last gasp; I will be your guard.”
See also: last
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
He studies sighs and gasps, in addition to the typical, resting breathing pattern that scientists call eupnea.
About 2 years ago, he and his colleagues reported that sighs and gasps can be discerned within the respiratory rhythm recorded with electrodes from rodent brainstem tissue.
The jaw-dropping array of wedding dresses which Carrie wears in a shoot for Vogue triggered collective gasps from fans.
I'll take my pounds 500,000." More gasps from the shocked audience and Chris says: "Come on, Paddy, you must know the answer."
The royal gasped for air and let out a loud "aaaaargh" as he tasted the chilli-laden titbit.
The audience gasped in admiration as her latest design was flaunted in a hip-swivelling saunter.
I was saying this to everybody but a doctor told me she was dead and these were her last gasps."
"She took a gasp later which sometimes happens with stillborn babies but is not a sign of life.
She says: "Silence, then a gasp and a little breathing.
CCTV footage was seen by the jury which showed four PCs and a Sergeant standing chatting for 10 minutes as the handcuffed 37-year-old gasped for life lying on the floor.