- Physics. a substance possessing perfect molecular mobility and the property of indefinite expansion, as opposed to a solid or liquid.
- any such fluid or mixture of fluids.
- any such fluid used as an anesthetic, as nitrous oxide: Did the dentist give you gas for your extraction?
- any such combustible fluid used as fuel: Light the gas in the oven.
- Also called gas pedal.the foot-operated accelerator of an automotive vehicle: Take your foot off the gas.
- Coal Mining. an explosive mixture of firedamp with air.
- an aeriform fluid or a mistlike assemblage of fine particles suspended in air, used in warfare to asphyxiate, poison, or stupefy an enemy.
- empty talk.
- a person or thing that is very entertaining, pleasing, or successful: The party was an absolute gas, and we loved it.
- a person or thing that affects one strongly.
- to supply with gas.
- to overcome, poison, or asphyxiate with gas or fumes.
- to singe (yarns or fabrics) with a gas flame to remove superfluous fibers.
- to treat or impregnate with gas.
- to talk nonsense or falsehood to.
- to amuse or affect strongly: Her weird clothes really gas me.
- to give off gas, as a storage battery being charged.
- to indulge in idle, empty talk.
- to become drunk (often followed by up).
- gas up, to fill the gasoline tank of an automobile, truck, or other vehicle.
- step on the gas, Informal. to increase the speed of one's movement or activity; hurry: We'd better step on the gas or we'll be late for the concert.
Origin of gas
- a substance in a physical state in which it does not resist change of shape and will expand indefinitely to fill any container. If very high pressure is applied a gas may become liquid or solid, otherwise its density tends towards that of the condensed phaseCompare liquid (def. 1), solid (def. 1)
- any substance that is gaseous at room temperature and atmospheric pressure
- any gaseous substance that is above its critical temperature and therefore not liquefiable by pressure aloneCompare vapour (def. 2)
- a gaseous anaesthetic, such as nitrous oxide
- mining firedamp or the explosive mixture of firedamp and air
- the usual US, Canadian, and New Zealand word for petrol See also gasoline
- step on the gas informal
- to increase the speed of a motor vehicle; accelerate
- to hurry
- a toxic or suffocating substance in suspension in air used against an enemy
- informal idle talk or boasting
- slang a delightful or successful person or thinghis latest record is a gas
- US an informal name for flatus
- (tr) to provide or fill with gas
- (tr) to subject to gas fumes, esp so as to asphyxiate or render unconscious
- (intr) to give off gas, as in the charging of a battery
- (tr) (in textiles) to singe (fabric) with a flame from a gas burner to remove unwanted fibres
- (intr foll by to) informal to talk in an idle or boastful way (to a person)
- (tr) slang, mainly US and Canadian to thrill or delight
Word Origin and History for gas up
1650s, from Dutch gas, probably from Greek khaos "empty space" (see chaos). The sound of Dutch "g" is roughly equivalent to that of Greek "kh." First used by Flemish chemist J.B. van Helmont (1577-1644), probably influenced by Paracelsus, who used khaos in an occult sense of "proper elements of spirits" or "ultra-rarified water," which was van Helmont's definition of gas.
Modern scientific sense began 1779, with later specialization to "combustible mix of vapors" (1794, originally coal gas); "anesthetic" (1894, originally nitrous oxide); and "poison gas" (1900). Meaning "intestinal vapors" is from 1882. "The success of this artificial word is unique" [Weekley]. Slang sense of "empty talk" is from 1847; slang meaning "something exciting or excellent" first attested 1953, from earlier hepster slang gasser in the same sense (1944). Gas also meant "fun, a joke" in Anglo-Irish and was used so by Joyce (1914). As short for gasoline, it is American English, first recorded 1905.
1886, "to supply with gas," from gas (n.). Sense of "poison with gas" is from 1889 as an accidental thing, from 1915 as a military attack. Related: Gassed; gassing.
- The state of matter distinguished from the solid and liquid states by relatively low density and viscosity, relatively great expansion and contraction with changes in pressure and temperature, the ability to diffuse readily, and the spontaneous tendency to become distributed uniformly throughout any container.
- A substance in the gaseous state.
- A gaseous fuel, such as natural gas.
- A gaseous asphyxiant, an irritant, or a poison.
- A gaseous anesthetic, such as nitrous oxide.
- To treat chemically with gas.
- To overcome, disable, or kill with poisonous fumes.
- To give off gas.
- One of four main states of matter, composed of molecules in constant random motion. Unlike a solid, a gas has no fixed shape and will take on the shape of the space available. Unlike a liquid, the intermolecular forces are very small; it has no fixed volume and will expand to fill the space available.
Idioms and Phrases with gas up
Supply a vehicle with gasoline, as in I want to be sure to gas up before we go. James M. Cain used this term in The Postman Always Rings Twice (1934): “I went to gas up a car.” [Colloquial; c. 1930 Also see tank up.