vapor

noun
va·​por | \ ˈvā-pər How to pronounce vapor (audio) \

Definition of vapor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : diffused matter (such as smoke or fog) suspended floating in the air and impairing its transparency
2a : 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
3a : 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

vapor

verb
vapored; vaporing\ ˈvā-​p(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce vaporing (audio) \

Definition of vapor (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to rise or pass off in vapor
b : to emit vapor
2 : to indulge in bragging, blustering, or idle talk

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Other Words from vapor

Verb

vaporer \ -​pər-​ər How to pronounce vaporer (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for vapor

Synonyms: Verb

blow, boast, brag, bull [slang], crow, gasconade, swagger, vaunt

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Did You Know?

Verb

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.

Examples of vapor in a Sentence

Verb

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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In these air conditions, the researchers multiplied the vanillin content of an approximately 79 milliliter puff of vapor by over 12,000, Andrews said. Abigail Brone, courant.com, "Yale study finds unknown dangers in Juul vapor," 30 July 2019 Latent heat is the heat required to convert a solid into a liquid or vapor without a change in temperature. Molly Rubin, Quartz, "Hurricane vocabulary: The difference between a typhoon, a cyclone, and a tropical storm," 12 July 2019 Fumes of mercury vapor would reveal the image, and the plate would be rinsed and dried to reverse the light sensitivity before placing it under glass to preserve it for posterity. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Scientists found these old photographs contain metallic nanoparticles," 12 June 2019 Liquids are heated into vapor that is filtered through membranes. Manuel Canales, National Geographic, "These new toilets could solve a global problem," 22 June 2019 The formation of connectivity can be understood as a phase transition, the process whereby water freezes into ice or boils away into vapor. Jennifer Ouellette, Quanta Magazine, "The New Laws of Explosive Networks," 14 July 2015 Tanklike devices called solar stills use the sun to evaporate dirty or salty water and condense the vapor into safe drinking water. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "New solar technology could produce clean drinking water for millions in need," 28 June 2019 The purified vapor condenses into water, which flows into a tank that also serves as a footrest. Manuel Canales, National Geographic, "These new toilets could solve a global problem," 22 June 2019 The leak produced a large vapor cloud in the air, and a Houston Fire Department hazmat crew was checking the air quality in the area overnight. Julian Gill, Houston Chronicle, "Chemical leak reported at a manufacturing facility in NW Houston," 18 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In the fourth, Evers used his veto in an attempt to ensure a tax on vaping products would apply to any device containing fluid and to vapor fluid sold separately. Washington Post, "Conservative lawsuit challenges Wisconsin governor’s vetoes," 31 July 2019 But whole body cryotherapy exposes the body for a couple of minutes to vapor that has been supercooled to somewhere between minus 200 and minus 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Aaron E. Carroll, New York Times, "Cold Therapy? Maybe Better Save Your Money," 2 Jan. 2017

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.

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First Known Use of vapor

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for vapor

Noun

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"

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Statistics for vapor

Last Updated

9 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vapor

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

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More Definitions for vapor

vapor

noun

English Language Learners Definition of vapor

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

vapor

noun
va·​por | \ ˈvā-pər How to pronounce vapor (audio) \

Kids Definition of vapor

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

vapor

noun
va·​por
variants: or chiefly British vapour \ ˈvā-​pər How to pronounce vapour (audio) \

Medical Definition of vapor

1a : 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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More from Merriam-Webster on vapor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vapor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vapor

Spanish Central: Translation of vapor

Nglish: Translation of vapor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vapor for Arabic Speakers

Comments on vapor

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