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

Synonyms for vapor

Synonyms: Verb

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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 Before bottling, Matt — who also is the head distiller — vapor infuses it with cinnamon sticks and vanilla beans. Kathy Stephenson, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah County’s first distillery takes the unconventional route," 20 Sep. 2020 Meanwhile, as a countermeasure, the silo was filling with water to douse potential flames and dilute the vapor. Vince Guerrieri, Popular Mechanics, "40 Years Ago, We Almost Blew Up Arkansas," 18 Sep. 2020 Climate scientists measure this trait using a statistic called the vapor-pressure deficit, or VPD. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, "The Most Important Number for the West’s Hideous Fire Season," 15 Sep. 2020 The visualizations use a mannequin head wearing different face coverings and a pump that sprays a vapor of water and glycerin. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Face Shields and Valved Masks Don’t Fully Stop the Spread of Aerosols," 4 Sep. 2020 Some devices have copper vapor chambers while some have graphite thermal pads, and so far no one has nailed down exactly which devices have which cooling solution. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Galaxy Note 20 Ultra teardowns show two different cooling solutions," 25 Aug. 2020 Water vapor, a potent greenhouse gas, will pour into the atmosphere, triggering a runaway greenhouse effect that, in a billion years, could transform our world into something not unlike our neighbor, Venus. Madeleine Stone, National Geographic, "Earth is setting heat records. It will be much hotter one day.," 20 Aug. 2020 The system uses nickel-titanium alloy wires covered in a platinum powder, which speeds up the burning of methanol vapor. Charlotte Hartley, Science | AAAS, "Watch a tiny robot powered by alcohol," 19 Aug. 2020 To entangle all the atoms, the scientists used strong heat in an alkaline vapor cloud. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "It's a Quantum World Record: 15 Trillion Smokin' Hot Atoms Entangled," 11 June 2020 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 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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Time Traveler for vapor

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for vapor

Last Updated

25 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Vapor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vapor. Accessed 1 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for vapor

vapor

noun
How to pronounce vapor (audio)

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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Comments on vapor

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