- (during an airborne stunt) the height between the ground and an athlete or an athlete with his or her equipment: The BMX course was designed for riders to get good air.
- such a jump or other airborne stunt: The snowboarder took first place with four clean airs.
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- to take a break from an unpleasant encounter or stifling environment: She walked away from the argument to get some air.
- to take a short rest.
- to be rejected, as by a lover.
- to be dismissed, as by an employer: He had worked only a few days when he got the air.
- to reject, as a lover: He was bitter because she gave him the air.
- to dismiss, as an employee.
- not broadcasting: The station goes off the air at midnight.
- not broadcast; out of operation as a broadcast: The program went off the air years ago.
- to go out-of-doors; take a short walk or ride.
- Slang.to leave, especially hurriedly.
- to begin broadcasting.
- Also in the air.undecided or unsettled: The contract is still up in the air.
- Informal.angry; perturbed: There is no need to get up in the air over a simple mistake.
Origin of air1
Synonyms for air
Origin of air2
Examples from the Web for air
Contemporary Examples of air
And Air Force assessors are the first to say such imaging never tells the whole story.Pentagon Doesn’t Know How Many People It’s Killed in the ISIS War
Nancy A. Youssef
January 7, 2015
Sprawled on chaise lounges with their knees high in the air and their legs spread wide.Powerful Congressman Writes About ‘Fleshy Breasts’
January 7, 2015
The Pentagon said Faal served in the Air Force for seven years, during which time he became a U.S. citizen.The Shadowy U.S. Veteran Who Tried to Overthrow a Country
January 6, 2015
That apparently includes some members of the management of the airport itself and some air traffic controllers.Annoying Airport Delays Might Prevent You From Becoming the Next AirAsia 8501
January 6, 2015
In other words, the Air Force is saying that its drone force has been stretched to its limits.Exclusive: U.S. Drone Fleet at ‘Breaking Point,’ Air Force Says
January 5, 2015
Historical Examples of air
One bolt struck near with a tremendous shock and the air was driven in violent waves into the very mouth of the cave.The Keepers of the Trail
Joseph A. Altsheler
"But it is terrible to have the air so full of noise," continued the girl, as she made a little face at her brother.Walter and the Wireless
Sara Ware Bassett
The climate of Cumberland does not overpower one—the air is of a quality that urges you on to think and do.
His eye-glass gave him an air of full dress even at this early hour.The Girl From His Town
Marie Van Vorst
Though late in the afternoon, the sun was hot, the air sultry.The Wonder of War on Land
- a simple tune for either vocal or instrumental performance
- another word for aria
- in circulation; current
- in the process of being decided; unsettled
- informalagitated or excited
Word Origin for air
c.1300, "invisible gases that make up the atmosphere," from Old French air "atmosphere, breeze, weather" (12c.), from Latin aerem (nominative aer) "air, lower atmosphere, sky," from Greek aer (genitive aeros) "air" (related to aenai "to blow, breathe"), of unknown origin, possibly from a base *awer- and thus related to aeirein "to raise" and arteria "windpipe, artery" (see aorta) on notion of "lifting, that which rises." In Homer mostly "thick air, mist;" later "air" as one of the four elements.
Words for "air" in Indo-European languages tend to be associated with wind, brightness, sky. In English, air Replaced native lyft, luft (see loft (n.)). To be in the air "in general awareness" is from 1875; up in the air "uncertain, doubtful" is from 1752. To build castles in the air is from 1590s (in 17c. English had airmonger "one preoccupied with visionary projects"). Broadcasting sense (e.g. on the air) first recorded 1927. To give (someone) the air "dismiss" is from 1900. Air pollution is attested by 1870.
1590s, "manner, appearance" (e.g. an air of mystery); 1650s, "assumed manner, affected appearance" (especially in phrase put on airs, 1781), from French air "look, appearance, mien, bearing, tone" (Old French aire "reality, essence, nature, descent, extraction," 12c.; cf. debonair), from Latin ager "place, field" (see acre) on notion of "place of origin."
But some French sources connect this Old French word with the source of air (n.1), and it also is possible these senses in English developed from or were influenced by air (n.1); cf. sense development of atmosphere and Latin spiritus "breath, breeze," also "high spirit, pride," and the extended senses of anima.
"melody, tune," 1580s, from Italian aria (see aria).
In addition to the idiom beginning with air
- air one's grievances
- breath of fresh air
- castles in the air
- clear the air
- give someone the air
- hot air
- in the air
- into (out of) thin air
- nose in the air
- off the air
- put on airs
- up in the air
- walk on air
- wash (air) one's dirty linen