breathing space

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

breathing +‎ space

Noun[edit]

breathing space (plural breathing spaces)

  1. Sufficient space or a span of time in which to recover one's breath.
    • 1842, Thomas Babbington Macaulay, "Horatius", stanza 45:
      He reeled, and on Herminius
      He leaned one breathing-space;
      Then, like a wild cat mad with wounds,
      Sprang right at Astur's face.
  2. A rest, pause, or respite.
  3. Enough distance so that one can feel unfettered.
    Don't fret, in our division you get a lot of breathing space.
    • 2011 November 10, Jeremy Wilson, “England Under 21 5 Iceland Under 21 0: match report”, Telegraph:
      Martin Kelly then finished with power to provide some breathing space before Craig Dawson’s scored his fourth goal in five England Under-21 appearances with a looping header.