- a region in N Niger, in the Sahara: low massif and oases. About 30,000 sq. mi. (77,700 sq. km).
- a mountainous region of N central Niger, in the Sahara, rising to 1500 m (5000 ft): a former native kingdom. Area: about 77 700 sq km (30 000 sq miles)Also called: Azbine, Asben
- All India Radio
- the mixture of gases that forms the earth's atmosphere. At sea level dry air has a density of 1.226 kilograms per cubic metre and consists of 78.08 per cent nitrogen, 20.95 per cent oxygen, 0.93 per cent argon, 0.03 per cent carbon dioxide, with smaller quantities of ozone and inert gases; water vapour varies between 0 and 4 per cent and in industrial areas sulphur gases may be present as pollutants
- the space above and around the earth; skyRelated adjective: aerial
- breeze; slight wind
- public expression; utteranceto give air to one's complaints
- a distinctive qualityan air of mystery
- a person's distinctive appearance, manner, or bearing
- a simple tune for either vocal or instrumental performance
- another word for aria
- transportation in aircraft (esp in the phrase by air)
- an archaic word for breath (def. 1), breath (def. 2), breath (def. 3)
- Australian informal the height gained when getting airborne in surfing, snowboarding, etc
- clear the air to rid a situation of tension or discord by settling misunderstandings, etc
- give someone the air slang to reject or dismiss someone
- in the air
- in circulation; current
- in the process of being decided; unsettled
- into thin air leaving no trace behind
- off the air not in the act of broadcasting or being broadcast on radio or television
- on the air in the act of broadcasting or being broadcast on radio or television
- out of thin air or from thin air suddenly and unexpectedly
- take the air to go out of doors, as for a short walk or ride
- up in the air
- informalagitated or excited
- walk on air to feel elated or exhilarated
- (modifier) astrology of or relating to a group of three signs of the zodiac, Gemini, Libra, and AquariusCompare earth (def. 10), fire (def. 24), water (def. 12)
- to expose or be exposed to the air so as to cool or freshen; ventilateto air a room
- to expose or be exposed to warm or heated air so as to dryto air linen
- (tr) to make known publicly; display; publicizeto air one's opinions
- (intr) (of a television or radio programme) to be broadcast
Word Origin and History for aïr
c.1300, "invisible gases that make up the atmosphere," from Old French air "atmosphere, breeze, weather" (12c.), from Latin aerem (nominative aer) "air, lower atmosphere, sky," from Greek aer (genitive aeros) "air" (related to aenai "to blow, breathe"), of unknown origin, possibly from a base *awer- and thus related to aeirein "to raise" and arteria "windpipe, artery" (see aorta) on notion of "lifting, that which rises." In Homer mostly "thick air, mist;" later "air" as one of the four elements.
Words for "air" in Indo-European languages tend to be associated with wind, brightness, sky. In English, air Replaced native lyft, luft (see loft (n.)). To be in the air "in general awareness" is from 1875; up in the air "uncertain, doubtful" is from 1752. To build castles in the air is from 1590s (in 17c. English had airmonger "one preoccupied with visionary projects"). Broadcasting sense (e.g. on the air) first recorded 1927. To give (someone) the air "dismiss" is from 1900. Air pollution is attested by 1870.
1590s, "manner, appearance" (e.g. an air of mystery); 1650s, "assumed manner, affected appearance" (especially in phrase put on airs, 1781), from French air "look, appearance, mien, bearing, tone" (Old French aire "reality, essence, nature, descent, extraction," 12c.; cf. debonair), from Latin ager "place, field" (see acre) on notion of "place of origin."
But some French sources connect this Old French word with the source of air (n.1), and it also is possible these senses in English developed from or were influenced by air (n.1); cf. sense development of atmosphere and Latin spiritus "breath, breeze," also "high spirit, pride," and the extended senses of anima.
"melody, tune," 1580s, from Italian aria (see aria).
- A colorless, odorless, tasteless, gaseous mixture, approximately 78 percent nitrogen and approximately 21 percent oxygen with lesser amounts of argon, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, neon, helium, and other gases.
- This mixture, with varying amounts of moisture and particulate matter, enveloping Earth; the atmosphere.
- Any of various respiratory gases. No longer in technical use.
- The colorless, odorless, tasteless mixture of gases that surrounds the Earth. Air consists of about 78 percent nitrogen and 21 percent oxygen, with the remaining part made up mainly of argon, carbon dioxide, neon, helium, methane, and krypton in decreasing order of volume. Air also contains varying amounts of water vapor, particulate matter such as dust and soot, and chemical pollutants.