breeze (verb) vs. breeze (noun)

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Labrador33

Member
France, French
Looking up the word BREEZE in various dictionaries I noticed that its verbal uses were only in the figurative sense (enter a room, pass an exam, chat away, etc.) but never in the proper sense, the latter being apparently limited to nominal uses of the word ("A warm breeze was blowing on the cotton fields..."). Can you either confirm or deny this? Are such sentences as "It was breezing over the fields" (using the verb breeze in the proper, material sense of the word, as the French say "qu'il neige ou qu'il vente) impossible in English?
Many thanks,
Labrador

PS And, er, sorry about my initial misposting !
 
  • JJchang

    Senior Member
    NZ - English, Chinese
    Hi, there's an example in online dictionary "It breezes most evenings at the shore". I think that's what you were after?
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I think you've hit on something interesting, Labrador - I can't imagine using the verb "breeze" in a literal sense.

    I would not, for example, say/write the sentence JJChang found online. "It breezes most evenings at the shore" sounds very strange to me.
     

    Labrador33

    Member
    France, French
    Thanks to you both. It also seems to me that JJChang's "It breezes most evenings at the shore" is at least substandard and surely not likely to be found in the OED or Webster's. What I wonder is whether to breeze has ever been used in the proper sense or is in fact a verbalization of US slang a breeze (something easy), apparently appearing in the 1870s. Interestingly enough, some meteorlogical terms only appear as nouns (wind, gale, tempest, hail, gust, etc.), some as both nouns and verbs (rain, snow, drizzle, etc.). Might be worth studying more closely !
    Best

    Lab
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    What I wonder is whether to breeze has ever been used in the proper sense or is in fact a verbalization of US slang a breeze (something easy), apparently appearing in the 1870s.
    Well, here's the OED on the subject of "to breeze":
    1. a. intr. To blow gently, as a breeze. rare
    1682 [see BREEZING]. 1809 J. BARLOW Columb. IV. 624 The breathing airs..Breeze up the bay.

    b. colloq. To move or proceed briskly; to depart. So to breeze in: to arrive or enter briskly. orig. U.S. [...]

    2. to breeze up (Naut.): (of a wind) to freshen, to become stronger: also impers. Of a noise: to rise on the breeze.
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    Hello,

    Here's a definition from Webster Dictionary, 1913:
    Breeze, v. i. To blow gently. [R.] J. Barlow. To breeze up (Naut.), to blow with increasing freshness.
    http://machaut.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/WEBSTER.sh?WORD=breeze

    I think the meaning of to breeze to blow gently is standard, however it simply isn't used today as appears form Loob's post and OED's tag. Also, hail is a verb meanig to pour down in particles of frozen water, but its use may also be rare/antiquated.
     

    JJchang

    Senior Member
    NZ - English, Chinese
    Perhaps simply google "define: breeze" would help. The example I've got was from the Princeton University WordNet program which was written by the lexicographer in the Princeton. I wouldn't call their lexicographers substandard.
    Here's another example from Collins, "the south wind breezed over the fields".
     
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