- a visible exhalation, as fog, mist, steam, smoke, or noxious gas, diffused through or suspended in the air: the vapors rising from the bogs.
- Physics. a gas at a temperature below its critical temperature.
- a substance converted into vapor for technical or medicinal uses.
- a combination of a vaporized substance and air.
- gaseous particles of drugs that can be inhaled as a therapeutic agent.
- a strange, senseless, or fantastic notion.
- something insubstantial or transitory.
- vapors, Archaic.
- mental depression or hypochondria.
- injurious exhalations formerly supposed to be produced within the body, especially in the stomach.
- to cause to rise or pass off in, or as if in, vapor; vaporize.
- Archaic. to affect with vapors; depress.
- to rise or pass off in the form of vapor.
- to emit vapor or exhalations.
- to talk or act grandiloquently, pompously, or boastfully; bluster.
Origin of vapor
Examples from the Web for vapour
The cloud, you mean--a dim, ill-defined, dark body of vapour?Homeward Bound
James Fenimore Cooper
The vapour arising from the wet cloth will raise the pile of the velvet, with the assistance of a whisk gently passed over it.
It is like a wavering ghost moving in the vapour on the face of the deep.The Woman Thou Gavest Me
But no answers were heard; the vapour did not conduct sound.The English at the North Pole
In parts indeed he could not tell which was hair and which was black storm and vapour.At the Back of the North Wind
- particles of moisture or other substance suspended in air and visible as clouds, smoke, etc
- a gaseous substance at a temperature below its critical temperatureCompare gas (def. 3)
- a substance that is in a gaseous state at a temperature below its boiling point
- rare something fanciful that lacks substance or permanence
- the vapours archaic a depressed mental condition believed originally to be the result of vaporous exhalations from the stomach
- to evaporate or cause to evaporate; vaporize
- (intr) to make vain empty boasts; brag
- the US spelling of vapour
Word Origin and History for vapour
late 14c., from Anglo-French vapour, from Latin vaporem (nominative vapor) "exhalation, steam, heat," of unknown origin. Vapors "fit of fainting, hysteria, etc." is 1660s, from medieval notion of "exhalations" from the stomach or other organs affecting the brain.
- Barely visible or cloudy diffused matter, such as mist, fumes, or smoke, suspended in the air.
- The state of a substance that exists below its critical temperature and that may be liquefied by application of sufficient pressure.
- The gaseous state of a substance that is liquid or solid under ordinary conditions.
- The vaporized form of a medicinal preparation to be administered by inhalation.
- A mixture of a vapor and air, as an explosive mixture of gasoline and air burned in an internal-combustion engine.
- vapors Exhalations within an organ, especially the stomach, supposed to affect the mental or physical condition. No longer in technical use.
- vapors A nervous disorder such as depression or hysteria. No longer in technical use.
- The gaseous state of a substance that is normally liquid or solid at room temperature, such as water that has evaporated into the air. See more at vapor pressure. See also water vapor.
- A faintly visible suspension of fine particles of matter in the air, as mist, fumes, or smoke.
- A mixture of fine droplets of a substance and air, as the fuel mixture of an internal-combustion engine.
Usage: The words vapor and steam usually call to mind a fine mist, such as that in the jet of water droplets near the spout of a boiling teakettle or in a bathroom after a shower. Vapor and steam, however, refer to the gaseous state of a substance. The fumes that arise when volatile substances such as alcohol and gasoline evaporate, for example, are vapors. The visible stream of water droplets rushing out of a teakettle spout is not steam. As the gaseous state of water heated past its boiling point, steam is invisible. Usually, there is a space of an inch or two between the spout and the beginning of the stream of droplets. This space contains steam. The steam loses its heat to the surrounding air, then falls below the boiling point and condenses in the air as water droplets. All liquids and solids give off vapors consisting of molecules that have evaporated from the substance. In a closed system, the vapor pressure of these molecules reaches an equilibrium at which the substance evaporates from the liquid (or solid) and recondenses on it in equal amounts.