breathe a prayer

Deborah White

Senior Member
Korean Korea

How do you paraphrase this part? Usually 'breathe' is followed by "air" or "gas".

She breathed a quick prayer that life might be long.

Thank you for your attention.
  • bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    It might be that "breathed" means that it was said very quietly or "under her breath" or just together with a quick exhalation. Can you provide more context and background information?

    Deborah White

    Senior Member
    Korean Korea
    This is from a very famous short story "The Dream of an Hour" or "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin.

    The previous two sentences are :
    Her fancy was running riot .... (omitted by me)
    Spring days, and summer days, and all sorts of days that would be her own.

    (nothing very particular, right?)

    I think probably it means your first hint "saying quietly".


    Senior Member
    (San Francisco) English
    I agree with bibliolept. This is a common way of saying that someone is speaking quietly or breathily. It is commonly used with prayers ("She breathed a prayer.") and romantic comments ("'I love you,' she breathed."). It's common in narration in novels and stories.
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