from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A colorless, odorless, tasteless, gaseous mixture, mainly nitrogen (approximately 78 percent) and oxygen (approximately 21 percent) with lesser amounts of argon, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, neon, helium, and other gases.
  • noun This mixture with varying amounts of moisture and particulate matter, enveloping the earth; the atmosphere.
  • noun The sky; the firmament.
  • noun A giant void; nothingness.
  • noun An atmospheric movement; a breeze or wind.
  • noun Sports A height achieved by a jump or as part of an airborne maneuver, as in skateboarding or snowboarding.
  • noun Aircraft.
  • noun Public utterance; vent.
  • noun The medium of broadcast radio or television.
  • noun A manner of behaving that conveys an impression.
  • noun A distinctive quality or appearance; an aura.
  • noun The general environment or condition, as in attitudes and ideas.
  • noun Affected behavior; affectation: synonym: affectation.
  • noun A melody or tune, especially in the soprano or tenor range.
  • noun A solo with or without accompaniment.
  • noun Air conditioning.
  • noun Archaic Breath.
  • intransitive verb To expose to the air in order to dry, cool, or freshen; ventilate.
  • intransitive verb To make known to others; express publicly: synonym: voice.
  • intransitive verb To broadcast on television or radio.
  • intransitive verb To be broadcast on television or radio.
  • adjective Of or relating to the air or the movement of air.
  • adjective Existing or living in the air; aerial.
  • adjective Powered by compressed air.
  • adjective Containing or inflated by air.
  • adjective Of or relating to aircraft or aeronautics.
  • adjective Of or relating to the broadcast or transmission of radio or television signals.
  • adjective Imaginary or unreal.
  • idiom Football (air one out) To throw a long pass.
  • idiom (in the air) Abroad; prevalent.
  • idiom (up in the air) Not yet decided; uncertain.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To expose to the air; give access to the open air; ventilate: as, to air clothes; to air a room.
  • Hence To expose ostentatiously; display; bring into public notice: as, to air one's views.
  • To expose to heat; warm: as, to air linen; to air liquors. reflexive To expose (one's self) to the air.
  • intransitive To take the air.
  • noun In music: A rhythmical melody; a tune consisting of single successive notes divided into groups which, in duration, have some definite ratio to one another, recognizable by the ear. A song or piece of poetry for singing: as, the air, “Sound an Alarm.” The soprano part in a harmonized piece of music. Also called aria. Any piece of poetry.
  • noun The peculiar look, appearance, and bearing of a person: as, the air of a youth; a graceful air; a lofty air.
  • noun The general character or complexion of anything; appearance; semblance.
  • noun plural Affected manner; manifestation of pride or vanity; assumed haughtiness: chiefly in the phrases to put on airs, to give one's self airs.
  • noun plural The artificial motions or carriage of a horse.
  • noun In painting, that which expresses action, manner, gesture, or attitude.
  • noun The respirable fluid which surrounds the earth and forms its atmosphere.
  • noun In old chemistry, gas: still in use in this sense in foundries and machine-shops, especially for such gases as are mingled with air or formed from it, as the gases from a furnace.
  • noun A movement of the atmosphere; a light breeze: usually in the plural.
  • noun Utterance abroad; publication; publicity.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Partly from Middle English air, gas, atmosphere (from Old French, from Latin āēr, from Greek; see wer- in Indo-European roots) and partly from French air, nature, quality, place of origin (from Latin ager, place, field; see agriculture, and Latin ārea, open space, threshing floor; see area). N., sense 8, from French air, tune, from Italian aria; see aria.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English air, eir ("gas, atmosphere"), from Anglo-Norman aeir, eyer, Old French aire, eir, from Latin āēr, from Ancient Greek ἀήρ (aér, "wind, atmosphere"). Displaced native Middle English luft, lift ("air") (from Old English lyft ("air, atmosphere")), Middle English loft ("air, upper region") (from Old Norse lopt ("air, sky, loft")). More at lift, loft.


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