with bated breath

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From the verb bate, alteration by aphesis of the verb abate, meaning 'to reduce' or 'lessen'.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adverb[edit]

with bated breath (not comparable)

  1. Used other than as an idiom: holding one's breath.
    • 1598, William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act I Scene 3 [1]
      Or | Shall I bend low and in a bondman's key, | With bated breath and whispering humbleness, Say this;
  2. (idiomatic) Eagerly; with great anticipation.
    We are waiting with bated breath for the release of the new version.

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