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1. the intake and expulsion of air during respiration
2. the air inhaled or exhaled during respiration
3. a single respiration or inhalation of air, etc
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

What does it mean when you dream about breath?

Many people have problems breathing during sleep, even if they do not have full-blown apnea, and this can be reflected in one’s dream life. If not an apnea symptom, holding one’s breath in a dream represent an expression of will, or repressing one’s anxieties or emotions. Breathing is also central to an unusually large number of idioms: “a breath of fresh air,” “a waste of breath,” “take your breath away,” “catch your breath,” “out of breath,” and the like, any one of which could find expression in one’s dreams.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
"That Indian, sir, is an inhabitant of an oppressed country; and I am still, and shall be, to my last breath, one of them!"
"And it isn't fair: I would say it though it were with my last breath; it isn't fair."
'And I, my dear,' said Rachel, with a tremble in her voice, 'have known him through them all, to be, according to his quiet ways, so faithful to everything honest and good, that if he was never to be heard of more, and I was to live to be a hundred years old, I could say with my last breath, God knows my heart.
In that last outburst of joy her last breath had passed.
"And in his last breath reproached me for stooping to a boor!"
SECOND MESSENGER Beside the altar on a keen-edged sword She fell and closed her eyes in night, but erst She mourned for Megareus who nobly died Long since, then for her son; with her last breath She cursed thee, the slayer of her child.
Said with his last breath that he considered service the most honourable part of his career, and so it was.
I have seen a man gasp out his last breath for less.
'Here lie the mortal remains Of JOHN CHIVERY, Never anything worth mentioning, Who died about the end of the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty-six, Of a broken heart, Requesting with his last breath that the word AMY might be inscribed over his ashes, which was accordingly directed to be done, By his afflicted Parents.'
Sheikh Aman Ullah prayed with all employees for the freedom of Kashmir and said that people of Pakistan, as a nation, stand with the people of Kashmir till their last breath.
In a statement, he said Pakistan will support the innocent people of Occupied Kashmir and continue to raise their voice of freedom till the last breath.
He said the economy of the country is taking its last breath while the government is busy in revenge actions against opposition leaders.