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water vapor

a dispersion, in air, of molecules of water, especially as produced by evaporation at ambient temperatures rather than by boiling.
Compare steam (def 2).
Origin of water vapor
First recorded in 1875-80 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for water vapor
Historical Examples
  • When the supply of water vapor and of atmospheric carbon dioxide is small, an extreme type of climate usually prevails.

    Climatic Changes Ellsworth Huntington
  • Crystals of frost puffed out as the water vapor left the air.

    Satellite System Horace Brown Fyfe
  • As long as the actual amount of water vapor in the air is less than that which the air can hold, no rain falls.

  • This water vapor changes into droplets of water when it gets cool enough.

    Common Science Carleton W. Washburne
  • On top of that, this original earth mass, composed of molten rock and gases and water vapor, was condensing.

    Unexplored! Allen Chaffee
  • When we say that water evaporates, we mean that it changes into water vapor.

    Common Science Carleton W. Washburne
  • When the water vapor gets cool enough it condenses, changing to myriads of extremely small drops of water.

    Common Science Carleton W. Washburne
  • Then the water vapor in it condenses into droplets of water, and these form a cloud.

    Common Science Carleton W. Washburne
  • The exact values of these pressures vary with degree of water vapor present and with temperature.

    The Nature of Animal Light E. Newton Harvey
  • When the air is fully charged with water vapor it is said to be saturated.

    Meteorology Charles Fitzhugh Talman
water vapor in Science
water vapor  
Water in its gaseous state, especially in the atmosphere and at a temperature below the boiling point. Water vapor in the atmosphere serves as the raw material for cloud and rain formation. It also helps regulate the Earth's temperature by reflecting and scattering radiation from the Sun and by absorbing the Earth's infrared radiation. See also vapor.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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