noun, often attributive
\ ˈer How to pronounce air (audio) \

Definition of air

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the mixture of invisible odorless tasteless gases (such as nitrogen and oxygen) that surrounds the earth also : the equivalent mix of gases on another planet … the thin, frigid air of Mars. — Stefano S. Coledan
b : a light breeze
c archaic : breath
2a(1) : aircraft traveling by air
(2) : aviation air safety air rights
(3) : air force air headquarters
b(1) : the medium of transmission of radio waves also : radio, television went on the air
(2) : airtime
3a : outward appearance of a thing an air of luxury
b : a surrounding or pervading influence : atmosphere an air of mystery
c : the look, appearance, or bearing of a person especially as expressive of some personal quality or emotion : demeanor an air of dignity
d : an artificial or affected manner put on airs
4a : nothingness usually used in the phrases into thin air and out of thin air vanished/disappeared into thin air… nor did any of them seem to have noticed that six people had just melted into thin air in front of them.— J. K. Rowling… jobs can't just be created out of thin air.The Wall Street Journal
b : empty space
c old-fashioned : a sudden severance of relations She gave me the air.
5 [probably translation of Italian aria]
a : tune, melody a lilting air
b : the chief voice part or melody in choral music
c Elizabethan and Jacobean music : an accompanied song or melody in usually strophic form
6 : an air-conditioning system a house with central air
7 : public utterance He gave air to his opinion.
8 : a football offense utilizing primarily the forward pass Trailing by 20 points, the team took to the air.
9 : the height achieved in performing an aerial maneuver a snowboarder catching big air also : the maneuver itself
in the air
: being felt or expressed by many people : in wide circulation There was a sense of anticipation in the air.
up in the air
: not yet settled a question that's still up in the air


aired; airing; airs

Definition of air (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to expose to the air for drying, purifying, or refreshing : ventilate often used with out He opened the windows to air out the room.
2 : to expose to public view or bring to public notice aired their complaints
3 : to transmit by radio or television air a program

intransitive verb

1 : to become exposed to the open air The blankets were left outside to air.
2 : to become broadcast a program that airs daily

Other Words from air


airless \ ˈer-​ləs How to pronounce air (audio) \ adjective
airlessness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for air

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for air


pose, air, airs, affectation, mannerism mean an adopted way of speaking or behaving. pose implies an attitude deliberately assumed in order to impress others. her shyness was just a pose air may suggest natural acquirement through environment or way of life. a traveler's sophisticated air airs always implies artificiality and pretentiousness. snobbish airs affectation applies to a trick of speech or behavior that strikes the observer as insincere. the posh accent is an affectation mannerism applies to an acquired eccentricity that has become a habit. gesturing with a cigarette was her most noticeable mannerism


express, vent, utter, voice, broach, air mean to make known what one thinks or feels. express suggests an impulse to reveal in words, gestures, actions, or what one creates or produces. expressed her feelings in music vent stresses a strong inner compulsion to express especially in words. a tirade venting his frustration utter implies the use of the voice not necessarily in articulate speech. utter a groan voice does not necessarily imply vocal utterance but does imply expression or formulation in words. an editorial voicing their concerns broach adds the implication of disclosing for the first time something long thought over or reserved for a suitable occasion. broached the subject of a divorce air implies an exposing or parading of one's views often in order to gain relief or sympathy or attention. publicly airing their differences

Examples of air in a Sentence

Noun These laws are meant to produce cleaner air. A delicious smell filled the air. I like to dine outdoors in the open air. He can't breathe! Everybody move back and give him some air! High in the mountains the air is thin and it can be hard to breathe. He pumped air into the bicycle tire. The city is wonderful seen from the air. the fish of the sea and the birds of the air The balloon rose up into the air and then floated through the air. There has been heavy fighting on the ground and in the air. Verb The blankets were left outside to air. She opened the windows to air the room. The company had a meeting so that employees could air their complaints. The interview will be aired tomorrow. The interview will air tomorrow. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun One of the larger campaign issues during last year’s mayoral election was the emission of ethylene oxide (EtO) from Vantage Specialty, Inc., a chemical company based in Gurnee that was emitting the gas into the air. Erin Yarnall, Chicago Tribune, 21 June 2022 Marques, whose works explore the stories of her Cuban ancestors, drops us into the darkest part of a fairy tale: Her bewitched or undead characters stride off into the air or open their arms helplessly. Cate Mcquaid,, 21 June 2022 The blast flung his body into the air as his wife, child and a friend unpacked their bags on the shore. Jennifer Hassan, Washington Post, 19 June 2022 After flinging itself into the air, the frog, about the size of a Skittle, tumbles and cartwheels before flopping to the ground on its back or belly, reports the Atlantic's Katherine J. Wu. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 June 2022 Courtney hopped onto the shiny surface and laid flat on her stomach, then lifted her hips into the air and arched her back, staring into the camera on Nick’s phone. Kat Tenbarge, NBC News, 17 June 2022 While virtually ignored in the US until recently, the country’s approximately 3,000 aviation airports are now the largest source of airborne lead in the US, pumping 468 tons into the air every year. Quartz, 16 June 2022 Source, jamming, throws an uppercut into the air when a digital chime punctuates the bar. Mankaprr Conteh, Rolling Stone, 15 June 2022 The older carriers, Liaoning and Shandong, use a ski ramp to launch jet fighters into the air. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 15 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb All 75 games of the 11-day competition will air live on ESPN networks or NBA TV. Chris Fedor, cleveland, 20 June 2022 The event will air on CNN and will stream live for pay TV subscribers via and CNNgo where available. Chloe Melas, CNN, 19 June 2022 The ceremony will air on CBS and stream on Paramount+. Wilson Chapman, Variety, 16 June 2022 The show, hosted by Taraji P. Henson for the second year in a row, will air live on BET on June 26 at 8 p.m. ET/PT from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Paul Grein, Billboard, 16 June 2022 More of Heard's interview with Guthrie will air on Today and later on Dateline this Friday. Nick Romano,, 14 June 2022 For the first time ever, the ceremony will air live on the West Coast. Jordan Freiman, CBS News, 12 June 2022 How to watch the 2022 Tony Awards: The Tonys will air live on CBS and Paramount+ on Sunday, June 12, at 8 p.m. eastern. Emily Burack, Town & Country, 12 June 2022 The series will air on the IFC cable channel and stream on Sundance Now. Rick Porter, The Hollywood Reporter, 8 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'air.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of air


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1530, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for air

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin aer, from Greek aēr air

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Time Traveler for air

Time Traveler

The first known use of air was in the 14th century

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Statistics for air

Last Updated

25 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Air.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for air


\ ˈer How to pronounce air (audio) \

Kids Definition of air

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the invisible mixture of odorless tasteless gases that surrounds the earth
2 : the space or sky that is filled with air The balloon rose up into the air.
3 : air that is compressed I filled the car's tires with air.
4 : outward appearance : a quality that a person or thing has He has an air of mystery about him.
5 : aircraft travel by air
7 : a radio or television broadcast He gave a speech on the air.
8 airs plural : an artificial way of acting put on airs


aired; airing

Kids Definition of air (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to place in the air for cooling, freshening, or cleaning air blankets
2 : to make known in public air complaints


\ ˈa(ə)r, ˈe(ə)r How to pronounce air (audio) \

Medical Definition of air

: a mixture of invisible odorless tasteless sound-transmitting gases that is composed by volume chiefly of 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen, 0.9 percent argon, 0.03 percent carbon dioxide, varying amounts of water vapor, and minute amounts of rare gases (as helium), that surrounds the earth with half its mass within four miles of the earth's surface, that has a pressure at sea level of about 14.7 pounds per square inch, and that has a density of 1.293 grams per liter at 0°C and 760 mm pressure

More from Merriam-Webster on air

Nglish: Translation of air for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of air for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about air


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