1

vapor

noun va·por \ ˈvā-pər \
Updated on: 18 Nov 2017

Definition of vapor

1 : diffused matter (such as smoke or fog) suspended floating in the air and impairing its transparency
2 a : a substance in the gaseous state as distinguished from the liquid or solid state
b : a substance (such as gasoline, alcohol, mercury, or benzoin) vaporized for industrial, therapeutic, or military uses; also : a mixture (such as the explosive mixture in an internal combustion engine) of such a vapor with air
3 a : something unsubstantial or transitory : phantasm
b : a foolish or fanciful idea
4 vapors plural
a archaic : exhalations of bodily organs (such as the stomach) held to affect the physical or mental condition
b : a depressed or hysterical nervous condition

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Recent Examples of vapor from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of vapor

Middle English vapour, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French vapor, vapour, borrowed from Latin vapor, earlier vapōs "exhalation, steam, warmth," perhaps akin to Lithuanian kvãpas "smell, scent"


2

vapor

verb

Definition of vapor

vapored; vaporing play \ˈvā-p(ə-)riŋ\
intransitive verb
1 a : to rise or pass off in vapor
b : to emit vapor
2 : to indulge in bragging, blustering, or idle talk

vaporer

play \-pər-ər\ noun

Examples of vapor in a Sentence

  1. a faded Southern belle tiresomely vaporing about all the handsome beaux she had in her long-ago youth

Recent Examples of vapor from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Speakers of the English language, mindful of the lightness and unsubstantiality of floating air and gas, have put several airy words to good use over the years to describe the act of talking idly or boastfully. The earliest such word is blow (as in "he kept blowing about his new job"), which drifted into English sometime about 1400. Vapor wafted into the language in the 1620s, and a little over 200 years later windbags, later also known as gasbags, not only blew and vapored but also gassed about anything they could.

First Known Use of vapor

15th century


VAPOR Defined for English Language Learners

vapor

noun

Definition of vapor for English Language Learners

  • : a substance that is in the form of a gas or that consists of very small drops or particles mixed with the air


VAPOR Defined for Kids

vapor

noun va·por \ ˈvā-pər \

Definition of vapor for Students

1 : fine bits (as of fog or smoke) floating in the air and clouding it
2 : a substance in the form of a gas
  • water vapor

Medical Dictionary

vapor

noun va·por
variants: or chiefly British vapour play \ˈvā-pər\

medical Definition of vapor

1 a : a substance in the gaseous state as distinguished from the liquid or solid state
b : a substance (as alcohol or benzoin) vaporized for industrial, therapeutic, or military uses
2 vapors or chiefly British vapours plural
a : exhalations of bodily organs (as the stomach) formerly held to affect the physical or mental condition
b : a depressed or hysterical nervous condition


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