take one's breath away, to(redirected from to take one's breath away)
take someone's breath away
1. Lit. to cause someone to be out of breath due to a shock or hard exercise. Running this fast takes my breath away. Mary frightened me and took my breath away.
2. Fig. to overwhelm someone with beauty or grandeur; to surprise or astound someone. The magnificent painting took my breath away. Ann looked so beautiful that she took my breath away.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
take one's breath away
Astonish or shock one, with pleasure, surprise, or some other emotion. For example, That beautiful display just takes my breath away. This idiom alludes to the way one holds one's breath when overcome with sudden emotion. [Mid-1800s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
take (one's) breath away
To put into a state of awe or shock.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
take one's breath away, to
To astound. This expression is pure hyperbole: one is so flabbergasted that one stops breathing. (The same idea is conveyed in the adjective breathtaking.) In the mid-nineteenth century Robert Browning used the term in Dramatis Personae (1864): “He never saw . . . what was able to take his breath away.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer