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airy

[air-ee] /ˈɛər i/
adjective, airier, airiest.
1.
open to a free current of fresh air; breezy:
airy rooms.
2.
consisting of or having the character of air; immaterial:
airy phantoms.
3.
light in appearance; thin:
airy garments.
4.
light in manner; sprightly; lively:
airy songs.
5.
light in movement; graceful; delicate:
an airy step.
6.
light as air; unsubstantial; unreal; imaginary:
airy dreams.
7.
visionary; speculative.
8.
performed in the air; aerial.
9.
lofty; high in the air.
10.
putting on airs; affected; snobbish:
an airy debutante posing for society photographers.
Origin of airy
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English ayery; see air1, -y1
Can be confused
aerie, airy.
Synonyms
4. jaunty, merry. 6. fanciful, illusory.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for airier
Historical Examples
  • Hood, on the other hand, is jocular in an airier and lighter-hearted fashion.

    The Brighton Road Charles G. Harper
  • Percival gave it a good grip, and resumed, in an airier tone than ever.

    Under False Pretences Adeline Sergeant
  • The French chain-bridge looked lighter and airier than the prototype.

    Sir Walter Scott Richard H. Hutton
  • But the school was removed in 1872 to an airier district at Godalming.

    Stories That Words Tell Us Elizabeth O'Neill
  • A curious kind of sweat, as white as snow and airier than the down on the wing of a bird, is beginning to show itself.

    The Children's Life of the Bee Maurice Maeterlinck
  • She preferred it to the embankment below the Temple; it seemed to her airier.

    Happy Pollyooly Edgar Jepson
  • If I read fiction, let it be fiction; airier than hard fact.

  • Or maybe I should say "veiling" instead of canvas—or something still lighter and airier.

    Over Prairie Trails Frederick Philip Grove
  • The cooler and airier the place it stands in the better—freezing even is not objectionable when the salt begins striking in.

    Dishes & Beverages of the Old South Martha McCulloch Williams
  • She was gentler to everybody, even to her parents, and chatted vivaciously, and walked with an airier step!

    The King of Schnorrers Israel Zangwill
British Dictionary definitions for airier

airy

/ˈɛərɪ/
adjective airier, airiest
1.
abounding in fresh air
2.
spacious or uncluttered
3.
nonchalant; superficial
4.
visionary; fanciful: airy promises, airy plans
5.
of or relating to air
6.
weightless and insubstantial: an airy gossamer
7.
light and graceful in movement
8.
having no material substance: airy spirits
9.
high up in the air; lofty
10.
performed in the air; aerial

Airy

/ˈɛərɪ/
noun
1.
Sir George Biddell. 1801–92, British astronomer, noted for his estimate of the earth's density from gravity measurements in mines; astronomer royal (1835–81)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for airier

airy

adj.

late 14c., "of the air, made of air," from air (n.1) + -y (2). Meaning "breezy" is attested from 1590s; that of "lively" is from 1640s. Sense of "vain, unsubstantial" is from 1580s. Disparaging airy-fairy is attested from 1920 (earlier in a sense of "delicate or light as a fairy," which is how Tennyson used it in 1830).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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