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See also: Breeze


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  • IPA(key): /bɹiːz/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːz

Etymology 1[edit]

From the earlier (nautical) term brise, brize (breeze), from Middle English brees (wind). Ultimate origin obscure.

Variously supposed to derive from a Germanic source like Saterland Frisian Briese (breeze), West Frisian brys (a cool wind), Dutch bries (breeze), early Dutch brysen (to blow cool and fresh), or from Spanish brisa (northeast wind).[1][2]

The earliest attestations are in Middle English brees (1460), Catalan brisa, and Italian brezza (all in 15th century), with Spanish (1504) and Portuguese briza (16th century) following closely after. The aforementioned Dutch cognates and French brise, however, are attested later than the term in English. The only internal hypothesis for any of those languages is a modification of Old Occitan bisa (strong wind), which is not widely accepted.

Compare also Albanian breshër (hail).

Alternative forms[edit]


breeze (plural breezes)

  1. A light, gentle wind.
    The breeze rustled the papers on her desk.
    • 1793, William Wordsworth, An Evening Walk:
      Into a gradual calm the breezes sink.
    • 1907 August, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, “Afterglow”, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, →OCLC, page 168:
      Breezes blowing from beds of iris quickened her breath with their perfume; she saw the tufted lilacs sway in the wind, and the streamers of mauve-tinted wistaria swinging, all a-glisten with golden bees; she saw a crimson cardinal winging through the foliage, and amorous tanagers flashing like scarlet flames athwart the pines.
  2. (figurative) Any activity that is easy, not testing or difficult.
    After studying Latin, Spanish was a breeze.
  3. (cricket) Wind blowing across a cricket match, whatever its strength.
  4. An excited or ruffled state of feeling; a flurry of excitement; a disturbance; a quarrel.
    The discovery produced a breeze.
  5. A brief workout for a racehorse.
Coordinate terms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
See also[edit]


breeze (third-person singular simple present breezes, present participle breezing, simple past and past participle breezed) (intransitive)

  1. (usually with along) To move casually, in a carefree manner.
  2. (weather) To blow gently.
    • 2014 January 21, Hermione Hoby, “Julia Roberts interview for August: Osage County – 'I might actually go to hell for this ...': Julia Roberts reveals why her violent, Oscar-nominated performance in August: Osage County made her feel 'like a terrible person' [print version: 'I might actually go to hell for this ...' (18 January 2014, p. R4)]”, in The Daily Telegraph (Review)[1]:
      She's sitting opposite a window that's gently breezing into her face, wafting her hair into cover-girl perfection ...
  3. To take a horse on a light run in order to understand the running characteristics of the horse and to observe it while under motion.
  4. (of fish) To swim near the surface of the water, causing ripples in the surface.
    • 1970, Commercial Fisheries Review - Volume 32, page 37:
      The first was a school of medium-sized ( 10-pound average ) fish that breezed frequently but bit poorly.
    • 1979, Frank T. Awbrey, Thomas Duffy, WIlliam E. Evans, C. Scott Johnson, Wesley Parks, John DeBeer, The Tuna/Porpoise Problem: Dedicated Vessel Research Program, page 10:
      The Queen Mary stood by while a speedboat moved ahead of a breezing school of tuna to deploy the sound projector and a sonobuoy (Figure 6).
    • 2011, Mike Rieser, Fly Fishing the Baja and Beyond, page 143:
      An intermediate line has its place when chasing breezing tuna that are moving at mach speed on the surface.
Derived terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


  1. ^ breeze”, in Unabridged,, LLC, 1995–present.
  2. ^ breeze”, in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, 1996–present.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English brese, from Old English brēosa, variant of Old English brimsa (gadfly), from Proto-Germanic *bremusī (gadfly), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰerem- (to make a noise, buzz, hum). Cognate with Dutch brems (horsefly, warblefly), German Bremse (gadfly, horsefly), Danish bremse (gadfly, horsefly), Swedish broms (gadfly, horsefly). Related also to Middle English brimse (gadfly), French brize (gadfly), Old English bremman (to rage, roar), Latin fremō (roar, snort, growl, grumble). See also bream.

Alternative forms[edit]


breeze (plural breezes)

  1. A gadfly; a horsefly; a strong-bodied dipterous insect of the family Tabanidae.


breeze (third-person singular simple present breezes, present participle breezing, simple past and past participle breezed)

  1. (intransitive) To buzz.

Etymology 3[edit]

Probably from French braise (burning coals).


breeze (plural breezes)

  1. Ashes and residue of coal or charcoal, usually from a furnace. See Wikipedia article on Clinker.