One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Cease breathing momentarily in surprise or fear.‘she caught her breath, surprised by the suddenness of the question’
pant, puff, puff and pant, blow, heave, wheeze, breathe hard, breathe heavily, catch one's breath, draw in one's breath, gulp, choke, fight for breath, struggle for airView synonyms
- ‘The pain wasn't too bad but it caught my breath.’
- ‘As I walked out of our cottage, the sky caught my breath as I muttered a "thank you" to God for such a beautiful place.’
2Rest after exercise to restore normal breathing.‘she stood for a few moments catching her breath’
- ‘It felt like my chest tightened up and I had to struggle to catch my breath.’
- ‘I crouched down behind a pile of broken stone to catch my breath.’
- ‘Once the pain subsided, I was still panting and trying to catch my breath.’
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