with bated breath

(redirected from with baited breath)

don't hold your breath

Don't expect something to happen. (The idea being that one couldn't hold one's breath long enough for the unlikely thing to happen.) If know you hope Monica comes to the meeting, but don't hold your breath—she hasn't been to one all year.
See also: breath, hold

with bated breath

Eagerly. The phrase suggests that one is breathing shallowly in anticipation of something. I've been waiting with bated breath to hear back from my first-choice school.
See also: breath

Don't hold your breath.

Fig. Do not stop breathing waiting for something to happen that won't happen. (Meaning that it will take longer for it to happen than you can possibly hold your breath.) Tom: The front yard is such a mess. Bob: Bill's supposed to rake the leaves. Tom: Don't hold your breath. He never does his share of the work. Sally: Someone said that gasoline prices would go down. Bob: Oh, yeah? Don't hold your breath.
See also: breath, hold

with bated breath

Cliché while holding one's breath. We stood there with bated breath while the man hung on the side of the bridge. They listened with bated breath for the announcement about the winner.
See also: breath

with bated breath

Eagerly or anxiously, as in We waited for the announcement of the winner with bated breath. This expression literally means "holding one's breath" ( bate means "restrain"). Today it is also used somewhat ironically, indicating one is not all that eager or anxious. [Late 1500s] Also see hold one's breath, def. 2.
See also: breath

with bated breath

COMMON If you wait for something with bated breath, you wait in an anxious or excited way to see what happens next. Flora and I waited with bated breath to hear what Evelyn considered sensible. They got the people in the villages interested in what was going to happen, so they were then watching with bated breath as the experiment began. Note: `Bate' is an old form of `abate', which in this context means `control' or `hold back'.
See also: breath

don't hold your breath

used to indicate that something is very unlikely to happen.
See also: breath, hold

with bated breath

in great suspense; very anxiously or excitedly.
Baited , which is sometimes seen, is a misspelling, since bated in this sense is a shortened form of abated , the idea being that your breathing is lessened under the influence of extreme suspense.
See also: breath

with ˌbated ˈbreath

hardly able to breathe because you are very anxious about something: We watched with bated breath as the lion moved slowly towards him.
See also: breath

with bated breath

Holding one’s breath back in expectation. To bate meant to restrain, but this verb is scarcely heard today except in this cliché, which itself has an archaic sound and often is used ironically. Shakespeare used it in The Merchant of Venice (1.3): “Shall I bend low, and in a bondsman’s key, With bated breath, and whispering humbleness.” A more recent colloquial locution is don’t hold your breath, meaning “don’t wait in vain.”
See also: breath
References in periodicals archive ?
I await with baited breath. All this money being spent on a theatre which Stockton Council does not event own.
As fans wait with baited breath to see who their sides will face over the course of the campaign, league chiefs say it will be sooner rather than later.
As he put Jessica's phone on speakerphone and held it to his mic, the other guys and the capacity crowd all waited with baited breath for Carl to answer but unfortunately he didn't!
The only appointment that was convenient was the one in November so we will wait with baited breath to see what happens on that day.
And the Iranians await those answers with baited breath because a very short chain connects Tehran to North Korea.
As the story leaked on Friday night, journalists in Westminster waited with baited breath, sure the announcement of a resignation was imminent.
The Savior's Game concludes the Daniel Byrne trilogy with a finale that is drop-dead stunning, and is recommended reading for prior fans who have been awaiting the conclusion with baited breath. Around the world, a condition known as Anomalous Information Transfer brings visions that drive many to madness.
Many Americans will be waiting with baited breath on January 19, especially as not only did the majority of Americans not vote for Donald Trump, he actually came second to Hilary Clinton in the popular vote, but thanks to the undemocratic Electoral College system gaining more votes than anyone else doesn't mean you end up as President!
All wait with baited breath for the day when it might once again fill, spurring new life and a boom in bass fishing.
Whiplash, his first film, had autobiographical elements so fans are waiting with baited breath to see what his latest offering will bring on its release in July.
WE were all waiting with baited breath for This Is England 90 but unfortunately it was less of a Waterfall and more like a damp ditch.
GARDENERS in Durham are waiting with baited breath to see if their efforts will bloom into victory.
We'll wait with baited breath to see if "the best thing that has happened to her" is truly Mr.
While talking to the Mayor of Chengdu here, the chief minister said that the whole Pakistani nation was waiting with baited breath to give a historic welcome to the state guest.
I wait with baited breath for the next announcement from a government sorely out of touch with reality.