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Etymology 1[edit]

breath +‎ -ful


breathful (comparative more breathful, superlative most breathful)

  1. That breathes.
    • 1932, Edmund Spenser, Edwin Almiron Greenlaw, Charles Grosvenor Osgood, The Works of Edmund Spenser - Volume 1, page 365:
      They for nought would from their work refrain, Nor let his speeches come unto their ear; And eke the breathful bellows blew amain Like to the northern wind, that none could hear:
    • 1989, Robert Pack, Before it Vanishes: A Packet for Professor Pagels, page 78:
      the universe as body, mass as energy and energy as mass, became transformed to spirit when, through us, originating laughter found a name for everything that is and nourished into breathful form.
    • 2018, Lenart kof, Petri Berndtson, Atmospheres of Breathing, page xxii:
      His approach is not limited by a narrow understanding of media but brings an innovative, expanded conception that includes technologies or techniques of our selves (such as cultures of breath) animal bodies and their breathful selves, and nature as revealed through technology.
  2. Focused on control of one's breathing.
    • 1990, Gerald Goodman, The Talk Book, page 240:
      The breathful twist on timing also adds a touch of novelty and a bit of distraction when facing more difficult topics.
    • 2013, Jill Hayes, Soul and Spirit in Dance Movement Psychotherapy, page 92:
      Breathful movement practices such as Chi Kung/ Qigong (Lam Kam Chuen 1999) have been used successfully by group psychotherapists to energize and soothe, even in settings where psychological distress is intense (Potik and Schreiber 2013).
  3. Full of breath; breathy.
    • 1938, Aletta Lewis, They Call Them Savages, page 7:
      He spoke a queer, jerky kind of American that I can only describe as breathful.
    • 1946, Edward Kimbrough, Night Fire, page 63:
      He smelled the rank odor of the man and heard his breathful muttering.
    • 1980, Dennis Shramek, Sly Ohio, page 21:
      Against the window her lips press a row of breathful O's until, due to both a quick and vengeful draft, her candle's flame lilts, disappears.
    • 1993, Neil Jordan, A Neil Jordan reader, page 26:
      She was crying, great breathful sobs.
  4. Characteristic of a breath; breath-like.
    • 1985 Robert Pack, Affirming Limits: Essays on Mortality, Choice, and Poetic Form, page 59:
      The poem celebrates itself, wedding the body's cry with the mind's linguistic design; it is a metaphor for the literal human voice transformed into poetic speech. One might imagine that in the beginning was the letter O and its breathful sound.
    • 1994, The Absolute Sound - Volume 19, Issues 99-102, page 94:
      Individual wind instruments do not get obscured during the interplay of the tutti orchestra. Each section appears in naturally airy, breathful, resonant relief.
    • 2006, Robert Seatter, On the Beach with Chet Baker, page 17:
      But now Chet is back again with the long, breathful pauses of My Funny Valentine, and my favourite work of art which he rhymes with heart and all the mystery of trying to make the big and the little things fit seems just like the breath, the precarious breath
  5. Not breathless; breathing easily.
    • 1977, Stan Fischler, Steve Namm, Stan Fischler's sports stumpers, page 120:
      The end result of the Princeton experiment was that a startled but breathful Rutgers team downed a hell-raising breathless Princeton squad, 6-4.
    • 1995, Common Lives, Lesbian Lives - Issues 53-56, page 112:
      My face relaxed as a smile broke my tension. I hitched my pack up, stood straight, and walked with measured, breathful steps.
  6. Relaxed and quiet.
    • 1874, London Society, page 49:
      After the noon-blaze, in the breathful eve, The many 'folk of holiday ' come out ; And lovers saunter on the pier, and leave The gossip of their friends, to walk about
    • 1969, Australian Literary Studies, page 383:
      It was the breathful stillness of a tropical afternoon.
    • 1976, Marcus Andrew Hislop Clarke, Marcus Clarke, page 298:
      Lying awake with back that burned beneath its lotioned rags, when lights were low, in the breathful silence of the hospital, he registered in his heart a terrible oath that he would die ere he would again be made such hideous sport for his enemies.
    • 1984, Gajanan Madhav Muktibodh, Nemicandra Jaina, Pāyā patra tumhārā:
      And I decide to write to you as soon as I get a breathful respite.
    • 1985, St. Andrews review - Issue 29, page 47:
      Now I plunge my pen against the page and scribble toward a purpose unperceived, for now, in breathful, placid frame, I am no more a poet than a rose;
    • 2006, Howard A. Addison, Barbara Eve Breitman, Jewish Spiritual Direction:
      No special technique needed. Just take time to sense this breathful movement.
  7. (obsolete) Full of odour; fragrant.
    • 1919, George Smith, William Makepeace Thackeray, The Cornhill Magazine - Volume 47; Volume 120, page 83:
      Bacon seems to have had the best nose for a flower among the Elizabethans. Gerard is by no means catholic in his favours. The ' breathful chamomill ' of Spenser had for him ' a rank and naughty smell.'
    • 1968, The Herbarist - Issues 34-37, page 32:
      Men came, they partook, and they breathed of ramps. They had left their telltale and breathful mark.

Etymology 2[edit]

breath +‎ -ful


breathful (plural breathfuls or breathsful)

  1. That which is smelled or sensed in one breath.
    • 1999, Dennis Overstreet, Overstreet's New Wine Guide: Celebrating the New Wave in Winemaking:
      Once you've swirled, close your eyes and take a good breathful of the wine.
    • 2000, Gretta Mulrooney, Marble Heart, page 270:
      Before my taxi arrived I went to her wardrobe and pressed my face into her dresses, hoping to keep a breathful of her with me.
    • 2009, Katharine McMahon, A Way Through The Woods:
      I like the church, which seems to be holding a breathful of vivid memories whenever I'm in there alone.
  2. A quantity that is inhaled in one breath.
    • 1943, The Bluejackets' Manual - Volume 11, Part 1943, page 1096:
      Approximately I/5 of the oxygen in each breathful of air is absorbed by the body.
    • 1987, Donald McQuade, The Harper American Literature - Volume 2, page 686:
      The planter caught a big breathful of anger, but Charlie went straight on: “I rather wouldn't, mais I will do it for you;—just the same, like Monsieur le Compte would say, 'Charlie, you old fool, I want to shange houses wid you.'
    • 1994, Jennifer Greene, Bothered, page 110:
      Samantha took in a breathful of ocean air, then scrambled farther.
    • 2001, Sean Wallace, Strange Pleasures, page 61:
      A crackling cloud billowed up and Elfloq had drawn in several breathfuls before he could stagger back out of range.
    • 2017, Astrophysics For People in a Hurry:
      A single breathful draws in more air molecules than there are breathfuls of air in Earth's entire atmosphere.
  3. The amount spoken on one breath.
    • 1938, Sidney Meller, Roots in the Sky, page 144:
      Estelle lay in bed, groggily complaining against the gas light, and Miriam teased her, and Estelle told her to quit or get the devil out of here, but Miriam wouldn't quit, and Estelle thrashed around and pushed her and soon they had a little fight and then they both lay and told about their men, Estelle a breathful about her Dick, Miriam the next breathful about her Sammy.
    • 1970, Quincy Wright, A Study of War, page 389:
      "The crisis of our time," he writes, "is one of which the entire cause lies in the hearts of men," and only poetry can cure this "failure of desire" because "only poetry, exploring the spirit of man, is capable of creating in a breathful of words the common good men have become incapable of imagining for themselves."
    • 1990, Gerald Goodman, The Talk Book:
      The arbitrary time limit measured by breathsful of talk not only protects the pair or group from flooding but can also comfort the nervous disclosure by providing a limited demand.
  4. A quantity that is exhaled in one breath.
    • 2003, Coda - Issues 307-318, page 28:
      A fifteen-month gap separates the recording of the "The First Part" from "The Third Part," but the music could just as easily be two bubbles blown from the same fish on the same breathful of water.
    • 2014, Victor Serge, Birth of Our Power, page 159:
      And, cordially, putting a brotherly arm around his visitor, he would blow a breathful of ether in his face.