break a sweat

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break a sweat (third-person singular simple present breaks a sweat, present participle breaking a sweat, simple past broke a sweat, past participle broken a sweat)

  1. To start sweating.
    • 2001, Karon Karter, The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Pilates Method[1], →ISBN, page 119:
      Are you feeling stronger and more energetic, and even—dare I say it—breaking a sweat? No, not a pink-faced, dripping sweat; nevertheless, a little dewy under the arms and around your forehead.
  2. (idiomatic) To put effort into something.
    He succeeded effortlessly, without breaking a sweat.
    • 2008 January 17, Richard Hinds, "Walkovers blaze a trail for women's equal-pay theory" The Age (Australia):
      Consider, for instance, that Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Marat Safin and even the supposedly out-of-sorts Lleyton Hewitt all won the opening set of their first-round matches 6-0 before barely breaking a sweat in the two sets that followed.
    • 2018 March 6, Martin Robinson, “Dispelling the myths of Bloodborne”, in Eurogamer[2]:
      I've stumbled over gaming's simplest hurdles, been humiliated by the lowliest of enemies and will often go for an easy mode if one's available, and yet I've run through Bloodborne twice without ever really breaking much of a sweat.