air quotes

plural noun

Definition of air quotes

: a gesture made by raising and flexing the index and middle fingers of both hands that is used to call attention to a spoken word or expression

Examples of air quotes in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Any competition under center this spring will carry on with heavy air quotes attached. Los Angeles Times, 6 Apr. 2022 As recently as last week, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith used air quotes when referring to The Alliance, the intellectual treaty between the Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12 conferences. Nathan Baird, cleveland, 25 Feb. 2022 The Alliance, as Smith reiterated with those air quotes, does not exist on paper. Nathan Baird, cleveland, 25 Feb. 2022 Osterholm said, putting the term in verbal air quotes. Helen Branswell, STAT, 28 Feb. 2022 While that agreement still does not exist on paper, after last week, maybe those air quotes are no longer necessary. Nathan Baird, cleveland, 25 Feb. 2022 Muessig said in the video, using his fingers to make air quotes. Washington Post, 18 Nov. 2021 With that poster behind her, Ravan echoes the sentiment and some of that frustration, making air quotes with her hands to prove her point. David Browne, Rolling Stone, 1 July 2021 Horovitz and Diamond are good company — unassuming without false modesty; self-aware without irritating air quotes. New York Times, 22 Apr. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of air quotes

1989, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for air quotes

Time Traveler

The first known use of air quotes was in 1989

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Dictionary Entries Near air quotes

air purifier

air quotes

air rage

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Statistics for air quotes

Cite this Entry

“Air quotes.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2022.

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