sigh [sahy] ExamplesWord Origin verb (used without object)

  1. to let out one’s breath audibly, as from sorrow, weariness, or relief.
  2. to yearn or long; pine.
  3. to make a sound suggesting a sigh: sighing wind.

verb (used with object)

  1. to express or utter with a sigh.
  2. to lament with sighing.


  1. the act or sound of sighing.

Origin of sigh 1250–1300; (v.) Middle English sighen, back formation from sihte sighed, past tense of Middle English siken, sichen, Old English sīcan to sigh; (noun) Middle English, derivative of the v.Related formssigh·er, nounout·sigh, verb (used with object)un·sigh·ing, adjectiveCan be confusedside sighedsighs size (see synonym study at size1) Related Words for sighing moan, sob, groan, whisper, cry, whistle, murmur, gasp, exhale, howl, blow, sough, pant, roar, grieve, sorrow, lament, whine, respire, wheeze Examples from the Web for sighing Contemporary Examples of sighing

  • They listened with audible outrage, sighing and groaning in disbelief.

    The Chutzpah of Radovan Karadzic

    The Telegraph

    October 17, 2012

  • The mayor sat back heavily, the plush cushion behind him sighing deeply.

    The Way the Wind Blows

    Scott Simon

    December 21, 2008

  • Historical Examples of sighing

  • Mrs. Elwood was sighing fond remembrance of her only this morning.

    Grace Harlowe’s Return to Overton Campus

    Jessie Graham Flower

  • Huge sand dunes formed the shore, covered with sighing pines.

    In the Midst of Alarms

    Robert Barr

  • “I am not afraid of you—but—of myself,” said Virginia, sighing.

    Tales And Novels, Volume 3 (of 10)

    Maria Edgeworth

  • Sometimes it is a sighing wind from other heights, happier in that they are sweet with firs.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • Cornelius confessed to himself, sighing, that woman was not perfect.

    The Black Tulip

    Alexandre Dumas (Pere)

  • British Dictionary definitions for sighing sigh verb

    1. (intr) to draw in and exhale audibly a deep breath as an expression of weariness, despair, relief, etc
    2. (intr) to make a sound resembling thistrees sighing in the wind
    3. (intr often foll by for) to yearn, long, or pine
    4. (tr) to utter or express with sighing


    1. the act or sound of sighing

    Derived Formssigher, nounWord Origin for sigh Old English sīcan, of obscure origin Word Origin and History for sighing sigh v.

    mid-13c., probably a Middle English back-formation from sighte, past tense of Old English sican “to sigh,” perhaps echoic of the sound of sighing. Related: Sighed; sighing.

    sigh n.

    early 14c., from sigh (v.).

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