Definition of sigh in English:



[no object]
  • 1Emit a long, deep audible breath expressing sadness, relief, tiredness, or similar.

    ‘Harry sank into a chair and sighed with relief’
    • ‘She sighed in disgust and gathered together any restraint that was left within her.’
    • ‘Cael took a deeper breath, sighing in his sleep, turning his head to the side a little.’
    • ‘‘Erik…’ she sighed for a long moment before repeating, ‘You aren't acting like yourself,’ she told me, worry in her voice.’
    • ‘He looked up at the sky with a wistful expression, a gust slightly lifting up his long hair, and sighed.’
    • ‘Smoothing down my shirt, I sighed from lack of sleep and ran my hands through my hair and walked out of my room.’
    • ‘For those who sigh wearily at this impossible aspiration there are other solutions.’
    • ‘Tori inwardly sighed with relief that they were on a first name basis once again.’
    • ‘Jack sighed and paced through the lobby, attempting to contemplate what to do next.’
    • ‘She sighed heavily with relief as the air filled her lungs.’
    • ‘She waited a few moments, and then sighed in exasperation.’
    • ‘Closing her eyes and sighing in defeat, she slowly moved towards the table.’
    • ‘Galen sighed heavily with exasperation and shoved his chair back.’
    • ‘I was actually stunned to silence as I simply sighed deep sighs of admiration.’
    • ‘Trey sighed loudly, rolling his eyes exaggeratedly as he spoke.’
    • ‘Elizabeth sighed wearily as she was woken from her sleep by Joshua crying in his crib.’
    • ‘His trained eyes slid vertically down the paragraph and he sighed in disgust.’
    • ‘"I would have expected more of a fight from Adakran's boy, " the man sighed with disappointment.’
    • ‘He sighed in annoyance; some incompetent teacher obviously couldn't control their class.’
    • ‘A moment later he sighed in resignation and shoved his cigarettes into his pocket.’
    • ‘She sighs with relief when she hears sirens wailing in the distance.’
    breathe out, exhale
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    1. 1.1 (of the wind or something through which the wind blows) make a sound resembling a sigh.
      ‘a breeze made the treetops sigh’
      • ‘All he could hear was the wind sighing in the trees and the soft lap of water against the wall surrounding the lake.’
      • ‘Barth stood a while in the world of mirrored light, his angry breath calmed with the lilting and sighing of the slow wind.’
      • ‘The wind sighs in the trees, shushing me to sleep.’
      • ‘A breeze sighed through the branches and we came to a glade, a secret place of fir and silver birch.’
      • ‘The girl could hear the leaves of the trees outside rustle and sigh in the gentle breeze.’
      • ‘The only sound is the scratching of a crow and the sighing of wind through the trees.’
      • ‘The heat is not too oppressive, because of the breezes that sigh in from the cool, sparkling Atlantic waters of Table Bay.’
      • ‘The constant wind that hugs the hill-side seems to sigh at the memory.’
      • ‘The wind sighs in the antlers of a few static deer, a coyote howls.’
      rustle, whisper, murmur, sough
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    2. 1.2sigh forliterary Feel a deep yearning for (someone or something lost, unattainable, or distant)
      ‘he sighed for days gone by’
      • ‘Film buffs in Thrissur, tired of watching classics in the DVD format at art house shows, have been sighing for that matchless experience - seeing the magic unfold on the silver screen.’
      • ‘The joys of rereading might have offered Mallarme a stronger antidote to his ennui than sighing for distant, exotic lands.’
      • ‘The words she remembered said, ‘My heart cries for you, sighs for you, dies for you.’’
      • ‘For those of you still sighing for what once was, there's also the bonus material, a handful of live tracks from each Queens lineup.’
      • ‘No harm in it so long as we reserve that precious moment to stand quietly and, when appropriate, give a little sigh for those who are no longer here, who can no longer join in the fun.’
      yearn, long, pine, ache, languish, carry a torch
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  • 1A long, deep audible exhalation expressing sadness, relief, tiredness, or similar.

    ‘she let out a long sigh of despair’
    figurative ‘the councils heaved a sigh of relief when they saved over £6m between them’
    • ‘You could almost hear the disappointed sighs echoing around the audience.’
    • ‘He raises his head, looks at me, then makes a sound that is something between a sigh and a moan.’
    • ‘At Joel's silent answer, Jesse sighed a sigh of regret and anger.’
    • ‘Klay looked at her and let out a sigh that sounded more like a yawn.’
    • ‘She heaves a loud, exasperated sigh, and obviously decides it's futile to argue with me.’
    • ‘Passengers waiting on the platform breathe a collective sigh of exasperation.’
    • ‘The boy stifled a sigh of annoyance but told himself to remain patient.’
    • ‘I heard a loud frustrated sigh on the other end of the door and a loud banging sound.’
    • ‘Alya breathed a heavy sigh of contentment as she washed herself with the wonderfully warm water.’
    • ‘The creature let out what sounded like a tired sigh, dropping down on her haunches.’
    • ‘She continued to improve and her family heaved a sigh of relief and started limping back towards normalcy.’
    • ‘They looked at each other for a moment, and then Lisa let out a sigh of what sounded like frustration.’
    • ‘I don't expect you to run wailing through the streets but couldn't you rustle up a small sigh of regret?’
    • ‘Fischer heaved a deep, weary sigh and rested his chin in his hands.’
    • ‘He let an exasperated sigh escape his lips, what had he done now?’
    • ‘He gave off a sigh that sounded like a grumble, but Stephanie didn't seem to have noticed.’
    • ‘With a sigh of resignation Matt turned the key and they drove off.’
    • ‘This time, my mother sighed, and although it's hard to tell from a sigh, she sounded angry.’
    • ‘With a sigh of defeat, Razi rose and motioned for Iola to lead.’
    • ‘I sank back in the hot water with a grateful sigh and closed my eyes as the tendrils of steam wound their way across the surface of the pool.’
    breath, breathing out
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    1. 1.1 A gentle sound resembling a sigh, especially one made by the wind.
      ‘except for the sigh of the wind, it was very quiet’
      • ‘For a moment I only stood where I was, listening to the gurgle of the water and the sighs of the wind.’
      • ‘The later acoustic-led Thumbing My Way is a sigh on a desert wind.’
      • ‘He could only hear the sigh of the wind flowing through the broken windows and the shrieks of birds.’
      • ‘The only sound was the sigh of the wind across the Pripyat marshes, accelerating to a low moan among the squat blocks of flats.’
      • ‘I knew you would come to me, in the colours of dreams, in the songs of the rain, in the sighs of the wind.’
      • ‘All the hidden excitement that had been fluttering within her died like the flame of a candle with the sigh of a cold wind.’
      • ‘The gentle whispering of the brook and the sighs of the leaves in the trees were so soft and enchanting that it was difficult for Lysje not to curl up in a ball and fall asleep right here.’
      rustle, murmur, sigh, moan, sough, whoosh, whir, swish
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Middle English (as a verb): probably a back-formation from sighte, past tense of siche, sike, from Old English sīcan.