Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Marked by or as if by audible or noisy breathing: a breathy voice.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Accompanied by audible breathing.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to or of the nature of breath.
  • In phonetics, accompanied with breath; pronounced with open glottis; uttered with breath.
  • Characterized by a conspicuous use of the breath: said usually of vocal sounds in which breath is needlessly and faultily wasted.

Etymologies

breath +‎ -y (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Rubyn wins for a while; Williams takes the lead after saying a few words in breathy tones.

    Fly Girls: TV series follows flight attendants at home and in the air

  • Thanks!} * PSA (in breathy female voice): The Countess is allowed to misspell words for effect, at her own discretion.

    Archive 2005-01-01

  • Smiling more widely than ever, she rolled down her window and called a breathy "Hi!" even before he reached the door.

    Rekindled

  • What, is it going to be all overdubbed breathy singing and faked sex sounds?

    CHARTattack:News Feed

  • This doesn't affect what I wrote; it's just more accurate since plain MIE *d becomes PIE *dʰ although I personally now believe that this stop only became "breathy" after the fragmentation of the PIE-speaking community had already occurred.

    Szemerenyi's Law and Mid IE

  • Try another interpretation: During phonation shift, the modal *d of the onset phonemicized as *dʰ according to traditional theory remains modal while the second stop shifts to "breathy".

    Winter's Law in Balto-Slavic, "Hybrid Theory" and phonation - Part 2

  • The medium -- to which is assigned the greater portion of every singer's work -- becomes "breathy" and hollow, the lower tones guttural, the higher tones shrill, and the voice, throughout its entire compass, harsh and unmanageable.

    Style in Singing

  • A "quiet, gentle voice" is conscientiously aimed at by many young teachers, with so great zeal that the tone becomes painfully repressed, "breathy," and timid.

    Stories to Tell Children Fifty-Four Stories With Some Suggestions For Telling

  • Certain states of mind, such as awe, caution, secrecy, fear, etc., produce in greater or less degree an aspirated or "breathy" quality, called the _whisper_ or _aspirate_:

    The Ontario High School Reader

  • To say Cassie Morgan is "breathy" doesn't do her vocals justice.

    Playback:stl Syndication

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.