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breath +‎ taking


  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈbɹɛθˌteɪ.kɪŋ/
  • (file)


breathtaking (comparative more breathtaking, superlative most breathtaking)

  1. stunningly beautiful; amazing
    He went to the Grand Canyon and spent a week taking in the breathtaking scenery all around him.
    • 2008 [1990], Blofeld, John, “The Place I Love Most of All—Peking”, in Daniel Reid, transl., My Journey in Mystic China: Old Pu's Travel Diary[1], Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions, →ISBN, →LCCN, →OCLC, pages 65-66:
      One day this old gentleman took me for a tour of the incomparable snowscapes in Chung Nan Hai Park.* Arrayed along the eastern shore of Chung Nan Lake stood a row of linked pavilions that seemed to be floating on the surface of the water. That day, strands of snowflakes sparkled like gems where they had collected between the humps of the enameled roof tiles. The breathtaking beauty of this vista made my soul turn somersaults.
  2. Very surprising or shocking; to such a degree as to cause astonishment.
    breathtaking stupidity or rudeness
    • 2019 December 18, Nigel Harris, “180 years of tragedy and progress”, in Rail, page 62:
      The network was established with breathtaking speed in the 1840s, when more than 250,000 navvies were furiously building our railways.

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