Etymology
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breather (n.)

c. 1600, "a living creature, one who breathes," agent noun from breathe. Meaning "spell of exercise to stimulate breathing" is from 1836; that of "a rest to recover breath" is from 1882.

updated on August 09, 2017

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Definitions of breather from WordNet

breather (n.)
air passage provided by a retractable device containing intake and exhaust pipes; permits a submarine to stay submerged for extended periods of time;
Synonyms: snorkel / schnorkel / schnorchel / snorkel breather
breather (n.)
a short respite;
Synonyms: breath / breathing place / breathing space / breathing spell / breathing time
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.