hold (one's) breath

(redirected from holding 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 ?
The recent bomb explosion in Quetta in front of police station, and so many more such events and incidents related to political instability, economic downfall, security threats, environmental problems that can be seen broadcast and published daily, have left the citizens of Pakistan holding their breath in fear of what will happen now?
The way to get the best apples would be if someone went in while holding their breath. He has carried out this highly risky procedure over the years."
Warning: Sharlotte |Jones wants to alert parents of the dangers of kids holding their breath in a 'game' after Sophie-Lee's collapse
In one scene, the Paternoster Gang helped the new Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and companion Clara (Jenna Coleman) deceive their robot enemies by holding their breath.
TESTS are being carried out at a Birmingham Hospital to see if simply holding their breath can help reduce the side-effects of radiotherapy for breast cancer victims.
They lift a tot of weight while holding their breath and then blood vessels pop.
Timed fire strings of five shots in 20 seconds would find some shooters holding their breath all the way through, and some taking a quick inhalation after the second or third shot.
"These figures also show the position in June and I believe many producers would have been holding their breath to see if the very high feed prices dropped following harvest, which might signal a return to profitability and what direction pig prices would take in the autumn.
Having last week lost Michael Chopra for the rest of the season to a hamstring tear, City were left holding their breath after Bothroyd was then forced off with an injury to the same area during Saturday's draw at Millwall.
OF HOLDING former PM Tony Blair and his government to account in yet anoththought er enquiry chaired by a retired judge (Rob Merrick: Gibson's Guantanamo Bay inquiry could be very bad for Tony Blair, Daily Post, August 11), is anyone holding their breath? That the Prime Minister has asked an establishment man to chair an enquiry into a British government, and the Office of Prime Minister of a previous incumbent, suggests ranks have already started to close.
I know a lot of people who are holding their breath waiting for the first true libertarian to get on the Supreme Court bench.
The jury is still out on Medicare Part D, although I can well imagine providers holding their breath as a new enrollment season rolls around.
Policyholders holding their breath for the next soft market swing may pass out.
The blue of the blue states stands for them holding their breath and waiting for the other side to implode.
When the authors talk about shallow water breath holding, are they referring to swimmers holding their breath for laps under water, or simply going under water and holding their breath for as long as possible (i.e.