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

Synonyms for vapor

Synonyms: Verb

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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 Television was our combination campfire and nightlight in the days when smoke, dust and ruins hung over downtown New York and a palimpsest of vapor could still be seen in the space the World Trade Center had occupied. John Anderson, WSJ, 8 Sep. 2021 Plants and trees cool a neighborhood by providing shade, of course, but also by a process called transpiration: as water evaporates from the leaves, its transformation into vapor consumes heat from the atmosphere. New York Times, 20 Aug. 2021 The metal melted, turned into vapor, and then began to levitate, held aloft by the field. Karmela Padavic-callaghan, Wired, 7 June 2021 When the vapor condensed into a thin film around the drop, electrons from the metal diffused into the water and briefly gave it metallic properties, according to a study published this week in Nature. Alex Viveros, Science | AAAS, 13 Aug. 2021 Brown has disappeared like vapor, not participating in the last three practices. Mike Preston, baltimoresun.com, 3 Aug. 2021 Key to the vapor compression cycle is a fridge component called the compressor. Shi En Kim, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 July 2021 And finally, the warmer air is and more Sun that shines, the more energy is available for snow or water to change to vapor. Steven R. Fassnacht, The Conversation, 27 July 2021 Thin whispers of vapor crossed quickly through the sky, opening small windows for the moon to peek through. oregonlive, 23 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The work had to be done quickly as water vanished to vapor in the early summer heat. Scott Wilson, Washington Post, 19 June 2021 Meanwhile, in a natural process called wicking, that moisture turns to vapor as it is continuously pulled outward from minuscule air spaces between the fibers of the felt, eventually evaporating entirely. Emma Wartzman, Bon Appétit, 5 Nov. 2020 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, 31 July 2019 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, 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, 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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Time Traveler for vapor

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

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Dictionary Entries Near vapor

vapography

vapor

vaporability

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Last Updated

14 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Vapor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vapor. Accessed 16 Sep. 2021.

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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 vapor (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

More from Merriam-Webster on vapor

Nglish: Translation of vapor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vapor for Arabic Speakers

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