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Etymology 1[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.
  2. 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 2[edit]

Attested since 1555, from the earlier (nautical) term brise, brize ‎(breeze). Variously supposed to derive from a Germanic source like Saterland Frisian Briese ‎(breeze), Dutch bries ‎(breeze), or from Spanish brisa ‎(northeast wind);[1][2] compare French brise, Italian brezza. Possibly ultimately from the same Indo-European source as Albanian breshër ‎(hail).

Alternative forms[edit]


breeze ‎(plural breezes)

  1. A light, gentle wind.
    The breeze rustled the papers on her desk.
    • William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
      Into a gradual calm the breezes sink.
    • 1907, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, “chapter V”, in The Younger Set (Project Gutenberg; EBook #14852), New York, N.Y.: A. L. Burt Company, published 1 February 2005 (Project Gutenberg version), OCLC 4241346:
      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. 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. Ashes and residue of coal or charcoal, usually from a furnace. See Wikipedia article on Clinker.
  5. An excited or ruffled state of feeling; a flurry of excitement; a disturbance; a quarrel.
    The discovery produced a breeze.
Coordinate 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 under a light run in order to understand the running characteristics of the horse and to observe it while under motion.
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.


  1. ^ breeze” in Unabridged, v1.0.1, Lexico Publishing Group, 2006.
  2. ^ breeze” in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Online.