I'm not sure if it's correct to call it puff/puffing. The definition is not close to what I'm looking for. It's when you inhale deeply and release the air loudly. The top result I found online is 'exhaled loudly'. Just wondering if anyone knows of other words that can be used.

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    'Phew!' is an ejaculation always considered at least quite exclamatory, signalling relief or perhaps less often surprise. But the relief might be that an exam or hailstorm is over, not necessarily an exhausting ordeal. Commented Dec 25, 2020 at 16:10
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    The sound you usually make when you're tired is a yawn.
    – Barmar
    Commented Dec 26, 2020 at 0:06

2 Answers 2


That's called a sigh.

Sigh: Emit a long, deep audible breath expressing sadness, relief, tiredness, or similar.

Harry sank into a chair and sighed with relief.


  • The word I was armed with for approaching this page!
    – LPH
    Commented Dec 25, 2020 at 15:48
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    The answer is correct. Note that a sigh is not necessarily due to tiredness; e.g. it can be a sigh of relief. Commented Dec 25, 2020 at 21:32
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    But sigh by itself is sadness, right? Otherwise it's, "sign of relief" or "sigh of exhaustion" and so on. In "Bob chopped 30 cords of wood then sighed", I want to know why he's still upset. Commented Dec 26, 2020 at 3:06
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    @OwenReynolds I wouldn’t agree. For me, all those are ‘sighs’ regardless of the intent.
    – bradrn
    Commented Dec 26, 2020 at 3:31
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    Voted to C first as no evidence of research. The second is a valid question; there are different protocols in different areas and institutions, but these should be explained and stated to be non-universal. // I'd run out of votes and lifetime if I went back finding all unsuitable questions. I make a stand where I come across unsuitable questions and/or answers. Commented Dec 26, 2020 at 15:09

This may be a case of "this is too obvious to be the answer", but it sounds like you are describing "to yawn".

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:

yawn n 1: an involuntary intake of breath through a wide open mouth; usually triggered by fatigue or boredom; "he could not suppress a yawn"; "the yawning in the audience told him it was time to stop"; "he apologized for his oscitancy" [syn: {yawn}, {yawning}, {oscitance}, {oscitancy}] v 1: utter a yawn, as from lack of oxygen or when one is tired; "The child yawned during the long performance"

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    I don't disagree with this answer or the comment from @Barmar. But the OP is looking for the loud exhale. While the yawn has both in inhale and an exhale, the emphasis in your definition is (correctly) on the inhale, not the exhale.
    – rajah9
    Commented Dec 26, 2020 at 12:35

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