hold (one's) breath

(redirected from hold their 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 grab the rings.
2. To wait for something specific to happen. In this usage, the phrase is usually used in the 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 said 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 ?
Freediving, breath-hold diving, or skin diving is a form of underwater diving that relies on the ability to hold their breath until resurfacing, rather than on the use of a breathing apparatus such as scuba gear.
He added: "The Guinness World Records in static apnea were set while freedivers hold their breath on the surface of a swimming pool.
I am very confident that I can break the existing world record," Petrovic said adding "The Guinness World Records in static apnea were set while freedivers hold their breath on the surface of a swimming pool.
The garments replicate the effects of a traditional corset but are light enough to move with the wearer, allowing women to sit down or bend without having to hold their breath.
The first step for dogs is to teach them to hold their breath as a way to learn deep breathing and focus, as follows:
His coach said he had told everyone not to hold their breath too long underwater without his supervision or that of another senior academy-swimming instructor.
SHERMAN OAKS -- Movie stars will hold their breath Sunday night as Oscar envelopes are unsealed, but for Lindsay Miller, the suspense will come during the commercials.
You have to build children's confidence and teach them how to hold their breath so they can be relaxed," says Mel.
A lot of dancers hold their breath at moments when it's most important to breathe, like a big arch," says Shila Tirabassi, who dances with Stephen Petronio and also teaches at Manhattan's OM Yoga Center.
Couple this with the fact that the longer swimmers hold their breath, the quicker the oxygen levels are reduced in the bloodstream.
Performers may hold their breath or breathe rapidly and shallowly from the upper chest.
These children usually have quite strong personalities and when angry or frustrated, will hold their breath until they turn first red in the face and then blue.
On reaching one, they are to plunge their faces into a large bowl of red wine, hold their breath for a few seconds, and then rise back up gasping for air, only to begin the process all over again.
Researchers had known that when crocodiles hold their breath underwater, carbon dioxide builds up in their blood, dissolves, and forms bicarbonate ions.
Most inhaler users are told to hold their breath for 10 seconds to allow the medicine to reach deeply into the lungs.