Get One’s Second Wind

Get a second wind

Meaning Of Idiom ‘Get One’s Second Wind’

1. In regards to physical exercise, especially running, a second wind refers to a return to regular breathing and renewed endurance after being out of breath and exhausted.

2. Restored or increased energy and strength after feeling tired, weak, allowing one to continue or complete a task or activity. 1Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.,2Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth M. The Wordsworth Dictionary of Idioms. Ware: Wordsworth, 1995.,3Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms]. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.


Even in regards to running, a second wind can be figurative and often is.

Examples Of Use

“A little more than halfway through the marathon I didn’t think I would be able to finish but then I got my second wind.”

“You worked all night. Why don’t you go home and get some sleep?” “Nah, I got my second wind. Let’s get this finished.”

“I’ve still got so much left to do to get the house ready to sell. Good thing I got my second wind about an hour ago.”

“I’m going to have to get some rest. I thought I got a second wind about half an hour ago but now I’m even more exhausted than before.”


Used since the late 1800s.

In this idiom, one’s wind refers to one’s breath or breathing. The expression originally referred to a return to normal breathing after physical exhaustion but soon was extended figuratively to any effort. 4Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

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