[air-uh-sawl, -sol]


Physical Chemistry. a system of colloidal particles dispersed in a gas; smoke or fog.
a liquid substance, as a disinfectant or deodorant, sealed in a metal container under pressure with an inert gas or other activating agent and released as a spray or foam through a push-button valve or nozzle: an aerosol for cleaning ovens.


of or containing a liquid or gas under pressure for dispensing as a spray or foam: a deodorant available in aerosol cans.

Origin of aerosol

First recorded in 1920–25; aero- + sol4 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for aerosol

Contemporary Examples of aerosol

Historical Examples of aerosol

  • A drop or so of the aerosol on the skin is enough, I understand.

    Damned If You Don't

    Gordon Randall Garrett

  • She flinched and misted a cloud of aerosol capsicum ahead of her.


    Cory Doctorow

  • Solvents and aerosol sprays also decrease the heart and respiratory rates, and impair judgment.

    What Works: Schools Without Drugs

    United States Department of Education

British Dictionary definitions for aerosol



a colloidal dispersion of solid or liquid particles in a gas; smoke or fog
a substance, such as a paint, polish, or insecticide, dispensed from a small metal container by a propellant under pressure
Also called: air spray such a substance together with its container

Word Origin for aerosol

C20: from aero- + sol (ution)
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

Word Origin and History for aerosol

1919, from aero- "air" + first syllable in solution. A term in physics; modern commercial application is from 1940s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

aerosol in Medicine




A gaseous suspension of fine solid or liquid particles.
A substance, such as a drug containing therapeutically active ingredients, packaged under pressure with a gaseous propellant for release as a spray of fine particles.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

aerosol in Science



A substance consisting of very fine particles of a liquid or solid suspended in a gas. Mist, which consists of very fine droplets of water in air, is an aerosol. Compare emulsion foam.
A liquid substance, such as paint, an insecticide, or a hair spray, packaged under pressure for use or application as a fine spray.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.