catch my breath when surprised or frightened

< Previous | Next >


Senior Member

Do you use "I caught my breath" after mentioning something that scared or surprised you? I don't see this usage in the COCA corpus. Found it, however, in Cambridge Idioms Dictionary, 2nd. ed. (2006):

catch your breath
1. to stop breathing for a moment because something surprises or frightens you: I caught my breath when I saw the scar on her face.
And 2. is, of course:
to rest for a moment after doing physical exercise and wait until you can breathe regularly again.

Thank you!
  • < Previous | Next >