1. One that breathes, especially in a specified manner: a shallow breather.
2. Informal A short rest period: took a breather after skiing for two hours.
3. Informal An activity, such as strenuous exercise, that causes difficult breathing.
4. A small vent allowing the passage of gas or liquid to or from an enclosed area.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.