What is the difference between out of breath and breathless?

I have read the dictionary carefully. I saw an example is that:

We were out of breath after only five minutes.

And 'out of breath' is used with the meaning having the difficulty breathing after exercise.

I wonder if we can use breathless instead of out of breath in that case ?

  • You're simply substituting out of breath by the adjective breathless. – Alejandro Feb 14 '16 at 9:20
  • Out of breath -- shortness of breath from physical exertion. Breathless, most often, not taking a breath because of excitement or fear; less often "out of breath". – Tᴚoɯɐuo Feb 14 '16 at 13:10

Out of breath is the result of usually a physical action.
Breathless is a condition.

Both mean to be short of breath and people will generally understand them to be interchangeable, however

The children were breathless in anticipation.
After running we were out of breath

When you are out of breath you are left breathless.
When you are breathless you are not necessary out of breath.

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