knock the wind out of (one)

knock the wind out of (one)

To cause one's diaphragm to spasm and contract following a sudden force or impact, resulting in a temporary inability to breathe properly. A: "I heard you got knocked off your bicycle by a car earlier. Are you OK?" B: "Yes, thankfully all it did was knock the wind out of me." I punched him in the gut and knocked the wind out of him.
See also: knock, of, out, wind
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