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 airvanished/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 & 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 outHe 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from air


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

Synonyms & Antonyms for air

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 Now is the time of year when most air schedules are set in stone for the summer. Scott Mcmurren, Anchorage Daily News, "Summer is coming sooner than you think — and with it, a deluge of flight options," 8 Feb. 2020 In the meantime, Dream Cruises has taken some measures to make passengers more comfortable, including relocating some from inside cabins or sea view cabins to suites with balconies to provide better air flow. Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, "2 more passengers diagnosed with coronavirus on Diamond Princess cruise ship off coast of Japan," 8 Feb. 2020 The air ride suspension is also available on the Denali. Jeff Yip, Houston Chronicle, "All-new 2021 SUV launches this summer; GMC adds adventure-ready AT4 version," 7 Feb. 2020 Argentinian scientists have just logged a record air temperature of 18.3°C on the Antarctic Peninsula. oregonlive, "Today’s chat: Antarctica hit its warmest temperature ever recorded," 7 Feb. 2020 Solar wind is a constant aspect of space weather, somewhat like the air temperature on Earth. Daniel Oberhaus, Wired, "Europe’s Solar Orbiter Begins Its Journey to the Sun," 7 Feb. 2020 Konashenkov accused Israel of routinely using passenger jets as shields from Syrian air defense systems. Radina Gigova, CNN, "Russia says civilian jet made emergency landing after brush with Syrian fire," 7 Feb. 2020 As scrutiny of the aircraft proceeds, the FAA said international air safety regulators were agreeing on design fixes, according to a Feb. 6 Reuters report. USA Today, "What’s next for the 737 MAX – and Boeing," 6 Feb. 2020 The engine can also cool itself better now because of new air ducts in the GT's massive rear buttresses that increase airflow by 50 percent. Connor Hoffman, Car and Driver, "2020 Ford GT Has More Power, Louder Exhaust," 6 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb To that end, the president’s campaign aired a Super Bowl ad featuring Alice Johnson, a black woman convicted on charges related to drug trafficking whose sentence the president commuted. Maggie Haberman, New York Times, "On Trump’s To-Do List: Take Back The Suburbs. Court Black Voters. Expand the Electoral Map. Win.," 8 Feb. 2020 Firefighters did arrive to air out the home, remaining at least an hour, with an electric company crew reporting at about 9 p.m. that the house was ventilated and posed no hazard. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, "Four companies called off after house fire call turns out to be open burn: Moreland Hills Police Blotter," 7 Feb. 2020 Kentucky lacks regulation and oversight of independent living communities, meaning residents have few options to air their grievances. Matthew Glowicki, The Courier-Journal, "89-year-old faced eviction from Kentucky independent living home. What rights does she have?," 7 Feb. 2020 Goldman also said there will be interviews from sectional sites around the state, which will be aired at various times during the day. Matthew Vantryon, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: No girls games on TV for Basketball Day in Indiana? Not a slight, but definitely a shame.," 5 Feb. 2020 The Five, The Story, Hannity, Special Report, Tucker Carlson Tonight, The Ingraham Angle and Fox News @ Night will all air from D.C. Fox Entertainment will additionally be covering the speech starting at 6 p.m. PT. Katie Kilkenny, The Hollywood Reporter, "Trump's 2020 State of the Union Address: Watch Live," 4 Feb. 2020 Over on Instagram, she's talked a lot about staying positive since Peter's season started airing. Lia Beck,, "Making Sense Of The Bachelor’s Alayah Nonsense," 4 Feb. 2020 The platform will also be airing a show called Murder House Flip, which is a home renovation show that fixes up homes where... murders have happened! Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "Quibi Is a New Streaming Platform That Will Reboot MTV's Punk'd and Bring Us New Series 'Murder House Flip'," 3 Feb. 2020 And with Fox having sold 82 ad units of 30 seconds each, Adweek estimates that approximately 50 commercials total will air throughout the course of Super Bowl 2020. Megan Mccluskey, Time, "These Are the Best Super Bowl 2020 Commercials," 2 Feb. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about air

Time Traveler for air

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for air

Last Updated

11 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Air.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for air


How to pronounce air (audio)

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



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


\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on air

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for air

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with air

Spanish Central: Translation of air

Nglish: Translation of air for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on air

What made you want to look up air? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!