Breathe vs Pant - What's the difference?

breathe | pant |

As verbs the difference between breathe and pant

is that breathe is to repeatedly draw air into, and expel it from, the lungs in order to extract oxygen from it and excrete waste products while pant is (ambitransitive) to breathe quickly or in a labored manner, as after exertion or from eagerness or excitement; to respire with heaving of the breast; to gasp.

As a noun pant is

a quick breathing; a catching of the breath; a gasp or pant can be (fashion) a pair of pants (trousers or underpants) or pant can be a public drinking fountain in scotland and north-east england.




  • To draw air into (inhale), and expel air from (exhale), the lungs in order to extract oxygen and excrete waste gases.
  • To take in needed gases and expel waste gases in a similar way.
  • :Fish have gills so they can breathe underwater.
  • To use (a gas) to sustain life.
  • :While life as we know it depends on oxygen, scientists have speculated that alien life forms might breathe chlorine or methane.
  • Figuratively, to live.
  • :I will not allow it, as long as I still breathe .
  • *(rfdate) Shakespeare
  • *:I am in health, I breathe .
  • *(rfdate) Sir Walter Scott
  • *:Breathes there a man with soul so dead?
  • To draw something into the lungs.
  • :Try not to breathe too much smoke.
  • To expel air from the lungs, exhale.
  • :If you breathe on a mirror, it will fog up.
  • To pass like breath; noiselessly or gently; to emanate; to blow gently.
  • :The wind breathes through the trees.
  • *(rfdate) Shakespeare
  • *:The air breathes upon us here most sweetly.
  • *(rfdate) Byron
  • *:There breathes a living fragrance from the shore.
  • To give an impression of, to exude.
  • :The decor positively breathes classical elegance.
  • To whisper quietly.
  • :He breathed the words into her ear, but she understood them all.
  • To exchange gases with the environment.
  • :Garments made of certain new materials breathe well and keep the skin relatively dry during exercise.
  • To rest; to stop and catch one's breath.
  • *:
  • *:Thenne they lasshed to gyder many sad strokes / & tracyd and trauercyd now bakward / now sydelyng hurtlyng to gyders lyke two bores / & that same tyme they felle both grouelyng to the erthe / Thus they fought styll withoute ony reposynge two houres and neuer brethed
  • *(rfdate) Shakespeare
  • *:Well! breathe awhile, and then to it again!
  • To stop, to give (a horse) an opportunity to catch its breath.
  • :At higher altitudes you need to breathe your horse more often.
  • Synonyms

    * (to draw air in and out) see

    Derived terms

    * *



    Etymology 1

    From (etyl) (m), whence also English dialectal (m). Possibly from (etyl) (m), a byform or of (etyl) .


    (en noun)
  • A quick breathing; a catching of the breath; a gasp.
  • (obsolete) A violent palpitation of the heart.
  • (Shakespeare)
    * *


  • (ambitransitive) To breathe quickly or in a labored manner, as after exertion or from eagerness or excitement; to respire with heaving of the breast; to gasp.
  • * Dryden
  • Pluto plants for breath from out his cell.
  • * Shelley
  • There is a cavern where my spirit / Was panted forth in anguish.
    {{quote-Fanny Hill, part=2 , Charles had just slipp'd the bolt of the door, and running, caught me in his arms, and lifting me from the ground, with his lips glew'd to mine, bore me, trembling, panting , dying, with soft fears and tender wishes, to the bed}}
  • To long for (something); to be eager for (something).
  • * Herbert
  • Then shall our hearts pant thee.
  • To long eagerly; to desire earnestly.
  • * Bible, Psalms xlii. 1
  • As the hart panteth after the water brooks.
  • * Alexander Pope
  • Who pants for glory finds but short repose.
  • Of the heart, to beat with unnatural violence or rapidity; to palpitate.
  • (Spenser)
  • To sigh; to flutter; to languish.
  • * Alexander Pope
  • The whispering breeze / Pants on the leaves, and dies upon the trees.
    * (breathe quickly or in a labored manner) gasp * (long for) crave, desire, long for, pine for * (long eagerly) crave, desire, long, pine * palpitate, pound, throb

    Etymology 2

    From pants


    (en noun)
  • (fashion) A pair of pants (trousers or underpants).
  • (used attributively as a modifier) Of or relating to pants.
  • Pant leg
    Derived terms
    * pant cuff * pant leg * pantsuit, pant suit * panty, panties

    Etymology 3



    (en noun)
  • a public drinking fountain in Scotland and North-East England
  • References

    * PMSA page with several examples * OED 2nd edition