he was heaving for breath

< Previous | Next >


Senior Member
Bounding, bouncing pebbles flashed mica and quartz glints at his startled eyes. And then a faint, dull thudding noise came—it seemed to push its way into his ears. A moment later he was heaving for breath, as if most of the air had suddenly been pushed out of the gully the flash flood had cut.
Source: The Stand by Stephen King
Context: Stu woke with a start. There was a major major (atomic) bomb explosion some 400 miles away.

I gloss that to heave = to breathe noisily, as when one is exhausted. Does heave include both inhale and exhale? When heaving, are the inhale and the exhale both done noisily?

<-----Off-topic comments removed by moderator (Flirentia52)----->

Thank you.
Last edited by a moderator:
  • AutumnOwl

    Senior Member
    I think it 's more about struggling to get air, that it was difficult to breathe, not just that he was breathing noisily. Usually it's more difficult to inhale than exhale.
    < Previous | Next >