heave a sigh of relief

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heave a sigh of relief

To experience an intense feeling of happiness or relief because something particularly stressful, unpleasant, or undesirable has been avoided or completed. Everyone in class heaved a sigh of relief after that horrible midterm exam was over. Investors in Europe are heaving a big sigh of relief now that a Greek exit from the Euro has been avoided.
See also: heave, of, relief, sigh
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

sigh of relief, (heave) a

Whew; an expulsion of breath indicating that one is out of a tight spot. Sighing with longing, pain, grief, and numerous similar emotions is common in the English language—especially in poetry—from the earliest days. The word “sigh” comes from Middle English and Old English words meaning exactly the same thing (to expel breath). Heaving a sigh to express intense emotion, especially amatory longing or grief, was current from about 1700 on.
See also: of, sigh
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
YIt's the first week of September, the kids have just gone back to school after six weeks and parents are heaving a sigh of relief as life returns to normal.
She's also probably heaving a sigh of relief that the 70lb little chap won't start growing his fearsome horn for another month...
In a move which should have viewers heaving a sigh of relief, the loudmouthed Londoner admitted she talked too much and was going to change.
I confess I took up that renowned office practice of clock watching, heaving a sigh of relief when it was time to go home.