“I can’t suspire until I know my love is returned.”
“The flames seemed to suspire against the night sky.”
“I couldn’t get this line of poetry out of my mind: ‘Their breath is fire upon the amorous air, / Fire in thine eyes and where thy lips suspire.'”
Latin, mid-15th century
Why this word?
Some words are relegated to purely literary or poetic usage, and such is the case with “suspire,” a synonym for the verb “breathe.” You likely won’t catch the doctor asking you to “suspire deeply,” but you can find the verb scattered throughout literature and poetry since the mid-1400s. In Henry IV, Shakespeare wrote, “Did he suspire, that light and weightlesse dowlne Perforce must moue,” referring to Prince Henry watching King Henry IV’s deathbed and checking on his breathing.
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