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I am writing a story and I am at a loss for a word/phrase. The scene is as follows:

Two young people have fallen in love with each other. They are doing a slow dance and suddenly get too close to each other. They breathe in a fast manner. What is this type of breathing called? What is the word/phrase for this?

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    Shallow breathing. Jul 25, 2019 at 18:03
  • What synonyms of 'breathe' did your thesaurus give you? Jul 25, 2019 at 19:28
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    @Cascabel — As in the famous “his breath came in short pants”. Ahmed, don’t give up the day job.
    – David
    Jul 25, 2019 at 20:20
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    Sometimes, Ahmad, you just have to accept that there isn't a pre-existing word or phrase to describe what you want. That's the mark of a great writer, someone who can put into words those difficult emotions which are hard to describe.
    – Mynamite
    Jul 25, 2019 at 22:40
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    His breath quickened, as did hers.
    – Xanne
    Jul 26, 2019 at 2:31

2 Answers 2

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In the extreme you could use "they started to hyperventilate." Can you provide some of the sentences you have so far so we can be more helpful in context?

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    Not a very romantic way to describe it ! :)
    – Mynamite
    Jul 25, 2019 at 22:36
  • exactly my thought. no toot romantic Jul 27, 2019 at 21:19
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Pant:

to breathe quickly and loudly through your mouth, usually because you have been doing something energetic

Gasp:

to breathe loudly and with difficulty, trying to get more air

Hyperpnea:

an increase in the breathing rate or in the depth of breathing, as after strenuous exercise

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