All Words > Underbreath

illustration Underbreath



Part of speech: adjective

Origin: English, 19th century


Vocalized under one's breath.

Examples of Underbreath in a sentence

"Sharon told Elsie about her blind date in an underbreath voice because they were on the bus."

"When my father left the room, my mother told me in an underbreath whisper what she’d bought him for his birthday."

About Underbreath

“Underbreath” was formed within English by adding the preposition “under” as a prefix to “breath.” “Breath” is based on the Old English “brǣþ,” meaning “odor,” “exhalation,” or “vapor.”

Did you Know?

“Underbreath” operates as three parts of speech. The first is as a noun: An underbreath is a remark made in a whisper or otherwise under one’s breath; the goal is not to be heard. For example, “In the crowded gallery, Shanice told me her opinion of the art in an underbreath.” But “underbreath” can also be an adjective, such as “an underbreath criticism,” which would be a whispered criticism. “Underbreath” can also be an adverb and modify a verb or adjective, such as “My mother lectured me underbreath so as not to wake my sister.”

illustration Underbreath

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