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1. A sufficient buffer of time or space that allows for freedom of movement or relief from a given source of pressure or stress. My yearly bonus always affords us a little bit of breathing space for the Christmas expenses. Please move back and give us some of breathing space here. The professor extended the deadline for our midterm papers, so I've got a bit of breathing space to get it finished.
2. A pause to rest or to think over something. Give me a minute, I just need a little breathing space while I figure this out.
In physics, an area of space that has no gravitational or electromagnetic fields. I totally failed that physics test on free space.
A person considered out of touch with reality. I tried having a serious conversation with her, but she's such a space cadet that I gave up after a few minutes of hearing her ramble on about my aura.
See also: space
be a waste of space
slang To be blatantly unhelpful or useless. This phrase is often applied to people as a derogatory term. Boy, he's a waste of space, standing around while the rest of us all move furniture. The old monitor doesn't work anymore, so at this point it's just a waste of space. Let's trash it.
A place where one will not encounter mistreatment, discrimination, and, in some cases, words or activities that could trigger reminders of past psychological trauma. The campus needs a safe space for the LGBTQ community. Is there a safe space for trauma victims to go after that lecture on human trafficking?
watch this space
Pay attention to what I have just mentioned, because I expect something to happen soon; stay tuned. I just heard we may be getting bonuses, so watch this space.
to become giddy or disoriented. Judy spaced out during the meeting and I didn't understand a word she said. I have a tendency to space out at the end of a hard day.
space someone out
to cause someone to become giddy. The circus clowns just spaced me out. The hilarious spectacle spaced out the entire audience.
take up spaceand take up room
to fill or occupy space. (Note the variations in the examples.) The piano is taking up too much room in our living room. John, you're not being any help at all. You're just taking up space.
waste of space
something that is completely without value. The wrecked furniture in here is just a waste of space. This broken-down car is a waste of space!
1. Room or time in which to breathe, as in In that crowded hall, there was hardly any breathing space. Previously this term was put as breathing room. [Mid-1600s]
2. A rest or pause. For example, I can't work at this all day; I need some breathing space. This usage replaced the earlier breathing while. [Mid-1600s]
Stupefy or disorient, as if or from a drug. For example, This medication spaces me out so I can't think clearly, or I wonder what those kids are on-they look totally spaced out. [1960s] Also see zone out.
take up space
Also, take up room or time . See take up, def. 6.
If you have some breathing space, you have some time when you do not have to deal with something difficult, and which may give you time and energy to deal with it better in the future. I spent seven happy months there, and it gave us both a breathing space in which to plan for the future. Even if the boarding school didn't help Louise, at least the family would get a breathing space.
watch this space
1. People say watch this space to show that more information about something will be given in the future. Plans are afoot to run short courses there, so watch this space and the magazine's advertisement pages. John has one or two ideas for next year, so watch this space.
2. People say watch this space to show that things might change in the future or that something might happen in the future. A review of the legislation is currently in progress, so watch this space. We're hoping to make Jam In The Park a yearly event, so watch this space.
a waste of spaceBRITISH, INFORMAL
If you describe someone as a waste of space, you mean that they are completely useless. The woman in charge of administration is a complete waste of space.
watch this spaceused to indicate that further developments are expected and more information will be given later. informal
The space referred to here is a section of a newspaper available for a specific purpose, especially for advertising.
1979 Julian Rathbone The Euro-Killers Where is he? Watch this space for exciting revelations in the next few days.
waste of spacea person perceived as useless or incompetent. informal
a ˈbreathing spacea time for resting between two periods of effort; pause: This holiday will give me a bit of breathing space before I start my new job.
be pressed/pushed for ˈmoney, ˈspace, ˈtime, etc.have very little money, time, etc: I’ll have to do those letters tomorrow — I’m a bit pressed for time this afternoon. ♢ I’m afraid we’re a bit pushed for space in this office.
in the space of a ˈminute, an ˈhour, a ˈmorning, etc.during the period of a minute, an hour, etc: I went from Glasgow to Edinburgh twelve times in the space of a few days.
look/stare/gaze into ˈspacelook straight in front of you without looking at a particular thing, usually because you are thinking about something: I asked her twice if she was ready to leave but she just sat there staring into space.
a waste of ˈspace(spoken) a person who is useless or no good at anything: What did you have to ask him along for? He’s a complete waste of space!
watch this ˈspace(informal) used in orders, to tell somebody to wait for more news about something to be announced: I can’t tell you any more right now, but watch this space.
1. To organize or arrange some things or some people with spaces between: The tournament organizers spaced the matches out so that players would have time to rest. The police officers spaced themselves out along the parade route.
2. To stupefy or disorient someone from or as if from a drug: The medicine spaces me out so I can't think clearly. The summer heat tends to space out the students and makes it difficult to teach.
3. To lose awareness of one's surroundings: I stared out the window and spaced out for an hour.
4. To lose concentration or become inattentive: I was supposed to meet her at 9:00, but I spaced out and didn't get there till 10:30.
1. n. a person who is always silly or giddy. Here comes a space cadet who looks like he has more money than he needs.
2. n. a person who is always high on drugs. The space cadets can usually be found sitting on a bench outside the principal’s office.
See also: space
1. n. a giddy person. (Usually space-out.) Terry is becoming such a space-out!
2. and space in. to become giddy; to become disoriented. She is spacing again. She doesn’t even know where she is.
See space out
space someone out
tv. to cause someone to become giddy. The whole business just spaced me out.