hold (one's) breath

(redirected from holding your 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 ?
in exercise physiology and can tell you that holding your breath during exertion puts a lot of stress on your heart and can be fatal for someone in poor health.
Do you have alerts sent to your home and work computers from areas like Kirkuk, Tikrit, Balad or Fallujah so you can worry when there are fatalities, holding your breath until you get a call or e-mail from your child saying, ``They missed me this time.
There is evidence to show that hyperventilating before holding your breath causes some people to black-out.
Stop Holding Your Breath And Start Living Your Life by Victoria Castle is an unique and practical guide for achieving an overall beneficial convergence of the ethereal and physical aspects of our life.
is a lot more fun than just counting the seconds you are holding your breath.
Some Web sites even encourage breath-holding competitions and advocate the therapeutic effects of holding your breath underwater for more than five minutes
And I discovered within its virtual pages that it's impossible to commit suicide by holding your breath (one of these days, I may give the precise scientific explanation of why it can't be done, but don't hold your breath).
It is also helpful if you strengthen your lungs by intermittently holding your breath for several seconds.
The game employs a nifty "zoom" feature, where holding your breath with the left trigger button helps you steady your aim.
Unless you've got hiccups, in which case holding your breath would be a very good idea.
Free-diving - the sport of jumping in the water and holding your breath for as long a time and distance as possible - is one of the things credited with the rise in underwater hockey's popularity.