1

air

noun, often attributive \ ˈer \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of air

1 a 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
2 a :empty space
b :nothingness
  • vanished into thin air
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
4 a :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.
7 a (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

airless

play \-ləs\ adjective

airlessness

noun
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

Examples of air in a Sentence

  1. These laws are meant to produce cleaner air.

  2. A delicious smell filled the air.

  3. I like to dine outdoors in the open air.

  4. He can't breathe! Everybody move back and give him some air!

  5. High in the mountains the air is thin and it can be hard to breathe.

  6. He pumped air into the bicycle tire.

  7. The city is wonderful seen from the air.

  8. the fish of the sea and the birds of the air

  9. The balloon rose up into the air and then floated through the air.

  10. There has been heavy fighting on the ground and in the air.

Recent Examples of air from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of air

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

air Synonyms

Synonyms
melody, lay, song, strain, tune, warble
Related Words
descant (also discant); cadence, measure, meter, rhythm; ballad, ditty, hymn, lyric, madrigal
Near Antonyms
calm

Synonym Discussion of 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

Other Climate/Meteorology Terms


2

air

verb

Definition of air

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

Examples of air in a Sentence

  1. The blankets were left outside to air.

  2. She opened the windows to air the room.

  3. The company had a meeting so that employees could air their complaints.

  4. The interview will be aired tomorrow.

  5. The interview will air tomorrow.

Recent Examples of air from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of air

see 1air

Synonym Discussion of air

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

AIR Defined for English Language Learners

air

noun

Definition of air for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of air for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

air

noun \ ˈer \

Definition of air for Students

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
6 :aviation 1
7 :a radio or television broadcast
  • He gave a speech on the air.
8 airs plural :an artificial way of acting
  • put on airs

2

air

verb

Definition of air for Students

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

Medical Dictionary

air

noun \ ˈa(ə)r, ˈe(ə)r \

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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