with bated breath
- to wait in a nervous and excited manner
- The announcer announced the last number with bated breath which made the audience very anxious of the result.
- I waited with bated breath to find out if my wife and child were safe outside the operation theatre for two hours.
- The couple waited with bated breath for the ceremonies to finally get over.
- At the time of my annual results I would always be at home, waiting with bated breath for my parents to come back and announce it to me.
- She waited with bated breath to unwrap her birthday presents after the guests would leave.
- After my daughter’s interview I waited with bated breath for the results to be announced.
- The audience watched the circus artists’s antics with bated breath.
The word ‘bated’ is often misspelt as ‘baited’ which refers to the food for trapping fish (to bait). But in this case the word refers to slowing down (of breath). The slowing of breath as one is nervous about an outcome or dreading a particular result literally leaves a person with bated breath. Although initially intended to show fear or nervousness, in the present day the phrase is also used for excitement towards a particular outcome.