to gather breath


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Gather \Gath"er\ (g[a^][th]"[~e]r), v. t. [imp. & p. p.
   Gathered; p. pr. & vb. n. Gathering.] [OE. gaderen, AS.
   gaderian, gadrian, fr. gador, geador, together, fr. g[ae]d
   fellowship; akin to E. good, D. gaderen to collect, G. gatte
   husband, MHG. gate, also companion, Goth. gadiliggs a
   sister's son. [root]29. See Good, and cf. Together.]
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   1. To bring together; to collect, as a number of separate
      things, into one place, or into one aggregate body; to
      assemble; to muster; to congregate.
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            And Belgium's capital had gathered them
            Her beauty and her chivalry.          --Byron.
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            When he had gathered all the chief priests and
            scribes of the people together.       --Matt. ii. 4.
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   2. To pick out and bring together from among what is of less
      value; to collect, as a harvest; to harvest; to cull; to
      pick off; to pluck.
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            A rose just gathered from the stalk.  --Dryden.
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            Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
                                                  --Matt. vii.
                                                  16.
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            Gather us from among the heathen.     --Ps. cvi. 47.
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   3. To accumulate by collecting and saving little by little;
      to amass; to gain; to heap up.
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            He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his
            substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity
            the poor.                             --Prov.
                                                  xxviii. 8.
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            To pay the creditor . . . he must gather up money by
            degrees.                              --Locke.
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   4. To bring closely together the parts or particles of; to
      contract; to compress; to bring together in folds or
      plaits, as a garment; also, to draw together, as a piece
      of cloth by a thread; to pucker; to plait; as, to gather a
      ruffle.
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            Gathering his flowing robe, he seemed to stand
            In act to speak, and graceful stretched his hand.
                                                  --Pope.
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   5. To derive, or deduce, as an inference; to collect, as a
      conclusion, from circumstances that suggest, or arguments
      that prove; to infer; to conclude.
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            Let me say no more!
            Gather the sequel by that went before. --Shak.
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   6. To gain; to win. [Obs.]
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            He gathers ground upon her in the chase. --Dryden.
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   7. (Arch.) To bring together, or nearer together, in masonry,
      as where the width of a fireplace is rapidly diminished to
      the width of the flue, or the like.
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   8. (Naut.) To haul in; to take up; as, to gather the slack of
      a rope.
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   To be gathered to one's people or {To be gathered to one's
   fathers} to die. --Gen. xxv. 8.

   To gather breath, to recover normal breathing after being
      out of breath; to get one's breath; to rest. --Spenser.

   To gather one's self together, to collect and dispose one's
      powers for a great effort, as a beast crouches preparatory
      to a leap.

   To gather way (Naut.), to begin to move; to move with
      increasing speed.
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