hold (one's) breath

(redirected from hold his breath)

hold (one's) breath

1. To intentionally stop breathing for a short period of time. I can't hold my breath for very long, so I doubt I'll be able to swim down deep enough to get the Frisbee.
2. To wait for something specific to happen. In this usage, the phrase is usually negative. The electrician said he'd be here before noon, but I won't hold my breath. She wrote a letter of complaint to the airline asking for a refund, but she isn't holding her breath.
See also: breath, hold

hold one's breath

 
1. Lit. to stop breathing for a short period, on purpose. Do you hold your breath when you dive into the water? I can't hold my breath for very long.
2. Fig. to wait or delay until something special happens. (Usually in the negative. See also Don't hold your breath.) I expect the mail to be delivered soon, but I'm not holding my breath. It's often late.
See also: breath, hold

hold one's breath

1. Be excited, anxious, or nervous. For example, The election was so close that I held my breath until the final results were in, or I'm holding my breath until every-one's been heard from. This expression alludes to the interruption of normal breathing; the literal usage dating from the early 1700s.
2. not hold one's breath. An expression used to mean one is not awaiting something, as in I'm hoping to hear if I got the job, but I'm not holding my breath. It often is put as an imperative, don't hold your breath, meaning "don't expect it, it's not likely," as in They may get married this summer, but don't hold your breath. This expression in effect implies it is unwise to stop breathing until a particular event occurs, since it may never come to pass. [Slang; mid-1900s]
See also: breath, hold

hold your ˈbreath


1 stop breathing for a short time, for example because you are afraid of something or very anxious about something: I held my breath as the car skidded towards me.
2 be anxious while you are waiting for something that you are worried about: ‘When will you hear about your job application?’ ‘Not till next week. I’m holding my breath until then.’
3 (informal) don’t hold your breath used for telling somebody that it’s not worth waiting for something: We’ll let you know if there’s any work for you, but don’t hold your breath.
See also: breath, hold
References in periodicals archive ?
Nry himself can hold his breath for almost eight minutes and has gone as deep as 139 m with just one breath.
In the beginning, he said, it was just a game among friends, until he discovered he could hold his breath much longer than a regular teenager.
He said: "It was known Reiss had an interest in seeing how long he could hold his breath under water.
FRESH from boasting about how long he could hold his breath (as mentioned in this column three weeks ago), Wolves defender Jody Craddock turned to Twitter to brag once again last week.
After swimming the length of the pool underwater, he descended to the bottom of the diving well to see how long he could hold his breath.
The famed street magician has already spent seven days submerged in a giant glass bowl in New York and today's grand finale will see him attempt to hold his breath for a record-breaking length of time as he breaks free from 50lb of chains.
But he shouldn't hold his breath after his 89th minute goal denied his "true love" all three points.
For kicks he would tie a cord around his forehead, hold his breath, and break the cord with his bulging veins.
While Hargrove is the JetHawks' everyday center fielder, Eady has to hold his breath each afternoon wondering if manager Darrin Garner will have him in the lineup that night.
Armed with only his sharp wit and an uncanny ability to hold his breath for ten whole minutes, our hero navigates ever deeper into a villainous scheme to wipe out the Tri-Island Area using the fearsome power of the Ultimate Insult.
5 litres - more than twice that of an average person - and can hold his breath for more than six minutes.
He shouldn't hold his breath because national boss and fierce patriot Rudi Voeller reckons living in the country and scoffing sauerkraut isn't enough to make you German.
He may have been trying to see how long he could hold his breath,'' Melvin said.
Armed only with his sharp wit and an uncanny ability to hold his breath for ten whole minutes, our hero navigates ever deeper into a villainous scheme to wipe out the Tri-Island Area using the fearsome power of the Ultimate Insult.
Ray's brother said he hopes Jackson doesn't hold his breath waiting because ``he won't confess to something he didn't do.