1. Respiration; the act of inhaling and exhaling air. "Subject to a difficulty of breathing." (Melmoth)
2. Air in gentle motion.
3. Any gentle influence or operation; inspiration; as, the breathings of the Spirit.
4. Aspiration; secret prayer. "Earnest desires and breathings after that blessed state."
5. Exercising; promotion of respiration. "Here is a lady that wants breathing too; And I have heard, you knights of Tyre Are excellent in making ladies trip." (Shak)
6. Utterance; communication or publicity by words. "I am sorry to give breathing to my purpose." (Shak)
7. Breathing place; vent.
8. Stop; pause; delay. "You shake the head at so long a breathing." (Shak)
9. Also, in a wider sense, the sound caused by the friction of the outgoing breath in the throat, mouth, etc, when the glottis is wide open; aspiration; the sound expressed by the letter h.
10. A mark to indicate aspiration or its absence. See Rough breathing, Smooth breathing, below. Breathing place. A pause. "That caesura, or breathing place, in the midst of the verse." . A vent. Breathing time, pause; relaxation. Breathing while, time sufficient for drawing breath; a short time. Rough breathing (spiritus asper) . See Asper, Smooth breathing (spiritus lenis), a mark (') indicating the absence of the sound of h, as in 'ienai (ienai).
(01 Mar 1998)