from The Century Dictionary.

  • Drawn or depicted in the air: as, “the air-drawn dagger,”

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Drawn in air; imaginary.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The play's martial atmosphere is established through the use of staves often hurled from hand to hand: effectively so, as Macbeth contemplates the air-drawn dagger.

    Macbeth - review

  • You laugh at me for my air-drawn castles; but confess, have they not surer footing, in general, than two words spoken by such a man as Herries?


  • For we must remember that this jealous king is no longer the warrior Thane whom we first encounter upon the 'blasted heath', and whom we afterwards see haunted by horrid visions of 'air-drawn daggers', as he turns his hand to crime.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 05, No. 32, June, 1860

  • Once the object of general praise, from its loftiness and beauty, and till now the subject of censure, even among Protestants, from that inscription of which the Papists always complained, was the offspring of this period, and realized one of those decorations which Wren had lavished upon his air-drawn Babylon.

    The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 17, No. 479, March 5, 1831

  • The chef may long to be an astronomer, but not only must he stick to his flesh-pots, but if, in the gusto of some early egg-beating, he has stumbled upon the omelet superlative, he must continue to furnish the world with omelets, no matter if eggs become for him an utter banality, and no matter how his fancy be seething with voluptuous dishes of air-drawn cabbage, or super-sheep.

    The Joys of Being a Woman and Other Papers

  • He had begun an investigation, as he imagined, with the severe and equal integrity of a judge, desirous only of truth, even as if the question involved no more than the air-drawn lines and figures of a geometrical problem, instead of human passions, and wrongs inflicted on himself.

    X. The Leech and His Patient

  • I trust that this unhappy brother of mine -- if, indeed, he is what you all think and not an air-drawn vision projected by your subconscious minds -- may soon be laid by the heels -- for his own sake as much as ours.

    The Red Redmaynes

  • Thus my air-drawn pictures will be set in frames, perhaps more valuable than the pictures themselves, since they will be embossed with groups of characteristic figures, amid the lake and mountain scenery, the villages and fertile fields, of our native land.

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • It was at this point in the low-toned conference that the ingenious young man in the outer office put down the desk telephone ear-piece long enough to smite with his fist at some air-drawn antagonist.

    Empire Builders

  • Her primitive mind, much fed on penny fiction, accepted all she was told, and in the consciousness of secret knowledge affecting lords and ladies she gave up without a sigh the air-drawn vision of being herself actually a member of an aristocratic family.

    The Town Traveller


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