air

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

Essential Meaning of air

1 : the invisible mixture of gases (such as nitrogen and oxygen) that surrounds the Earth and that people and animals breathe These laws are meant to produce cleaner air. A delicious smell filled the air. See More ExamplesI like to dine outdoors in the open air. cool/warm air fresh air a sudden gust of air [=wind] polluted air stale air the hot summer 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. My keys seem to have vanished/disappeared into thin air. [=to have vanished in a very sudden and mysterious way] He seemed to appear out of thin air. [=in a very sudden and mysterious way]Hide
2 : the space or sky that is filled with air land, water, and air The city is wonderful seen from the air. See More Examplesthe fish of the sea and the birds of the air The balloon rose up into the air and then floated through/in the air. There has been heavy fighting on the ground and in the air.Hide
3 : methods of travel that involve flying travel by air [=by flying in airplanes]

Full 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

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 \ 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

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 Designed by architect William Sofield, the new Lafayette flagship store reads like an art gallery on the outside: little to no embellishments with an air of allure and mystery. Isiah Magsino, Vogue, 18 Oct. 2021 Runners described the all-new, all-Detroit marathon route as slightly easier and faster than the regular course, which requires an elevation climb up the Ambassador Bridge and later a mile run in the warm air of the tunnel. Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press, 17 Oct. 2021 These cryptic communications create an air of mystery while frustrating any attempt at deciphering their meaning. Steven Litt, cleveland, 17 Oct. 2021 There is also an air of optimism around the Colts simply because Hilton is back on the practice field. Joel A. Erickson, The Indianapolis Star, 16 Oct. 2021 Pandemic restrictions kept the usual throng of international visitors away, and the ruins of the Buddhist temples had an air of melancholy. Lawrence Osborne, Travel + Leisure, 16 Oct. 2021 Mexico gave the event an air of trilateral severity. Los Angeles Times, 16 Oct. 2021 There was an air of celebration and a welcome with open arms for those that made the trek. Liza Foreman, Variety, 15 Oct. 2021 Yet there will also be an air of mystery to this season consistent with the clandestine summer and the surreal spring that preceded it. Jerry Beach, Forbes, 14 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Adele One Night Only will air Sunday, Nov. 14 at 8:30 p.m. ET on CBS and Paramount+. Vanessa Etienne, PEOPLE.com, 18 Oct. 2021 The 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards will air live Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS and will be streamed on Paramount+. NBC News, 19 Sep. 2021 This year's Primetime Emmy Awards will air this Sunday, with an in-person ceremony and red carpet after last year's virtual awards. Quinci Legardye, Harper's BAZAAR, 18 Sep. 2021 The 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards will air Sunday, Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. Tyler Aquilina, EW.com, 13 Sep. 2021 Jimmy Kimmel Live will air Monday, August 23 at 10:35 p.m. (11:35 p.m. ET). Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, 24 Aug. 2021 The special will air that day at 9 a.m. Mountain time on KSL-Ch. Sean P. Means, The Salt Lake Tribune, 30 July 2021 The concert will air Saturday, August 21 at 5 p.m. ET exclusively on CNN, CNN International and CNN en Español. Devan Cole, CNN, 27 July 2021 Live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, the 2021 BET Awards will air Sunday. Ruth Etiesit Samuel, Los Angeles Times, 27 June 2021

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 1a

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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Buying Guide

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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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Dictionary Entries Near air

AIPAC

air

Aira

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Statistics for air

Last Updated

23 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Air.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/air. Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for air

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

More from Merriam-Webster on air

Nglish: Translation of air for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of air for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about air

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