air

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

Definition of air

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a archaic : breath
b : 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
c : a light breeze
2a : empty space
b : 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
c old-fashioned : a sudden severance of relations She gave me the air.

3 [ probably translation of Italian aria ]

a : tune, melody a lilting air
b Elizabethan & Jacobean music : an accompanied song or melody in usually strophic form
c : the chief voice part or melody in choral music
4a : 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
5 : public utterance He gave air to his opinion.
7a(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
8 : a football offense utilizing primarily the forward pass Trailing by 20 points, the team took to the air.
9 : an air-conditioning system a house with central air
10 : 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

air

verb
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

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Other Words from air

Noun

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for air

Synonyms: Noun

lay, melody, song, strain, tune, warble

Synonyms: Verb

expound, express, give, look, raise, sound, state, vent, ventilate, voice

Antonyms: Verb

stifle, suppress

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Choose the Right Synonym for air

Noun

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

Verb

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Experts now know that toxic chemicals from weed and insect killers can seep into the soil, drift in the air, and collect in streams and rivers — to the detriment of plants, animals, and people nearby. Erin Quinn-kong, Woman's Day, "Are Your Fast-Fashion Clothes Killing Farmers?," 14 Feb. 2019 On air, the stories continue unabated, and Facebook, posts continue to appear. Bijan Stephen, The Verge, "Fox News wants everyone else to tell Twitter how mad it is at Twitter," 15 Nov. 2018 Check out the eight most surprising buys, below: Adele's bag of air. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Weird Celebrity Souvenirs You Won't Believe People Actually Bought," 20 Sep. 2018 Miles of vehicles idling in gridlock have reduced air quality to 1980s levels. Christopher D. Legras, WSJ, "Vision Zero, a ‘Road Diet’ Fad, Is Proving to Be Deadly," 18 Jan. 2019 So as fires grow larger, so too will the risks from poor air quality. Umair Irfan, Vox, "What we learned from the disasters that hammered the US in 2018," 27 Dec. 2018 Washington regulators have repeatedly denied permits for a coal export terminal, citing concerns that coal exports will sully the state's water quality, and trains transporting the coal into Washington will damage air quality. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "King Coal isn’t dead—he’s just been exiled from the US," 20 Dec. 2018 Crisp air, apple cider pit stops, and of course, brilliant foliage—there’s truly no better time for a family road trip than the fall. Juliet Izon, Woman's Day, "The 12 Most Scenic Drives in the Country to Add to Your Bucket List ASAP," 4 Dec. 2018 The air quality is so bad that cities are handing out respirator masks. Christianna Silva, Teen Vogue, "California's Fires Lead to School Closings, Poor Air Quality, and Public Service Shutdowns as Death Toll Climbs," 16 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Riverdale returned on Wednesday, March 6, airing its first episode since the death of Luke Perry. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, ""Riverdale" Honored Luke Perry in Its March 6 Episode," 7 Mar. 2019 While Brits are still waiting to watch season three of Victoria, the final episode airs this weekend in the United States. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Victoria Season 4: Will the TV Drama About Queen Victoria's Early Reign Return for Another Season?," 3 Mar. 2019 While the adaptation hasn’t aired yet, the network has already renewed the series for a second season. Maude Campbell, Popular Mechanics, "The 2019 Sci-Fi TV Guide," 16 Jan. 2019 The 2019 Oscars will be airing on ABC starting at 8:00 PM ET. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Here's How to Stream the 2019 Oscars Online for Free," 22 Feb. 2019 The show first aired early last year on FX, and in the months since, it's become something of an awards season darling, winning multiple Emmys and earning Darren Criss a Golden Globe for his performance as serial killer Andrew Cunanan. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "How to Watch The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story," 27 Jan. 2019 This time of year can be a bit gloomy, but thankfully there are some new TV shows and movies airing this week to make things a little better. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "9 TV Shows and Movies to Watch This Week to Cure Your Winter Blues," 6 Jan. 2019 The thirty-minute special will air after the premiere (which starts at 8 p.m. EST), where fans will get to watch Lindsay participate in a Q+A (hosted by Jonathan). De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, ""Mean Girls" Actors Lindsay Lohan and Jonathan Bennett Reunite for MTV's "Lindsay Lohan's Beach Club"," 5 Jan. 2019 Aimee Spinks Outlander season 4 has come and gone (too soon!), leaving fans with a lot of questions after the season finale aired—like why the storyline strayed so far from the plot of the book in some key moments. Outlander Fan, Marie Claire, "How Outlander Season 4 Is Different From Outlander, Book 4, 'Drums Of Autumn'," 29 Jan. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of air

Noun

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

Verb

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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Learn More about air

Dictionary Entries near air

Ainu

aioli

AIPAC

air

Aira

airable

air alert

Statistics for air

Last Updated

11 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for air

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

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More Definitions for air

air

noun

English Language Learners Definition of air

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the invisible mixture of gases (such as nitrogen and oxygen) that surrounds the Earth and that people and animals breathe
: the space or sky that is filled with air
: methods of travel that involve flying

air

verb

English Language Learners Definition of air (Entry 2 of 2)

: to place something in an open area where there is a lot of moving air to make it cool, dry, or clean
: to allow air from the outside to enter something (such as a room) so that it becomes fresher or cleaner
: to make (something) known in public : to state (something) publicly

air

noun
\ 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

air

verb
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

air

noun
\ 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on air

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with air

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for air

Spanish Central: Translation of air

Nglish: Translation of air for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of air for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about air

Comments on air

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