[ air ]
See synonyms for air on
  1. a mixture of nitrogen, oxygen, and minute amounts of other gases that surrounds the earth and forms its atmosphere.

  2. a stir in the atmosphere; a light breeze.

  1. overhead space; sky: The planes filled the air.

  2. circulation; publication; publicity: to give air to one's theories.

  3. the general character or complexion of anything; appearance: His early work had an air of freshness and originality.

  4. the peculiar look, appearance, and bearing of a person: There is an air of mystery about him.

  5. airs, affected or unnatural manner; manifestation of pride or vanity; assumed haughtiness: He acquired airs that were insufferable to his friends.

  6. Music.

    • a tune; melody.

    • the soprano or treble part.

    • an aria.

    • Also ayre . an Elizabethan art song.

  7. aircraft as a means of transportation: to arrive by air;to ship goods by air.

  8. Informal. air conditioning or an air-conditioning system: The price includes tires, radio, and air.

  9. Sports.

    • (during an airborne stunt) the height between the ground and an athlete or an athlete with their 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.

  10. Radio. the medium through which radio waves are transmitted.

  11. Archaic. breath.

verb (used with object)
  1. to expose to the air; give access to the open air; ventilate (often followed by out): We air the bedrooms every day.

  2. to expose ostentatiously; bring to public notice; display: to air one's opinions;to air one's theories.

  1. to broadcast or televise.

verb (used without object)
  1. to be exposed to the open air (often followed by out): Open the window and let the room air out.

  2. to be broadcast or televised.

  1. operating by means of air pressure or by acting upon air: an air drill;an air pump.

  2. of or relating to aircraft or to aviation: air industry.

  1. taking place in the air; aerial: air war.

Idioms about air

  1. clear the air, to eliminate dissension, ambiguity, or tension from a discussion, situation, etc.: The staff meeting was intended to help clear the air.

  2. get some air,

    • 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.

  1. get the air, Informal.

    • 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.

  2. give (someone) the air, Informal.

    • to reject, as a lover: He was bitter because she gave him the air.

    • to dismiss, as an employee.

  3. in the air, in circulation; current: There's a rumor in the air that we're moving to a new location.

  4. into thin air, completely out of sight or reach: He vanished into thin air.

  5. off the air,

    • 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.

  6. on the air, in the act of broadcasting; being broadcast: The program will be going on the air in a few seconds.

  7. put on airs, to assume an affected or haughty manner: As their fortune increased, they began to put on airs.

  8. take the air,

    • to go out-of-doors; take a short walk or ride.

    • Slang. to leave, especially hurriedly.

    • to begin broadcasting.

  9. up in the air,

    • 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.

  10. walk / tread on air, to feel very happy; be elated.

Origin of air

First recorded in 1150–1200; Middle English eir, from Old French air, from Latin āēr- (accusative āerem ), from Greek āer- (stem of āḗr ) “the lower atmosphere”; conflated with (especially for defs. 4, 5) French air, Old French aire “nature, character,” Latin ager “field” (cf. acre) and ārea “threshing floor, clearing, area ”; and with (for def. 7) French air, from Italian aria aria

synonym study For air

2. See wind1. 6. See manner1.

Other words for air

Other words from air

  • air·like, adjective
  • un·aired, adjective
  • well-aired, adjective

Words that may be confused with air

Other definitions for air (2 of 4)

[ air ]

  1. Obsolete. before; previously.

Origin of air

see origin at ere

Other definitions for a-i-r (3 of 4)


  1. artist-in-residence.

Other definitions for Aïr (4 of 4)

[ ah-eer ]

  1. a region in northern Niger, in the Sahara: low massif and oases. About 30,000 sq. mi. (77,700 sq. km).

  • Also called As·ben [ahs-ben] /ɑsˈbɛn/ . Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

British Dictionary definitions for air (1 of 3)


/ (ɛə) /

  1. the mixture of gases that forms the earth's atmosphere. At sea level dry air has a density of 1.226 kilograms per cubic metre and consists of 78.08 per cent nitrogen, 20.95 per cent oxygen, 0.93 per cent argon, 0.03 per cent carbon dioxide, with smaller quantities of ozone and inert gases; water vapour varies between 0 and 4 per cent and in industrial areas sulphur gases may be present as pollutants

  2. the space above and around the earth; sky: Related adjective: aerial

  1. breeze; slight wind

  2. public expression; utterance: to give air to one's complaints

  3. a distinctive quality: an air of mystery

  4. a person's distinctive appearance, manner, or bearing

  5. music

    • a simple tune for either vocal or instrumental performance

    • another word for aria

  6. transportation in aircraft (esp in the phrase by air)

  7. Australian informal the height gained when getting airborne in surfing, snowboarding, etc

  8. clear the air to rid a situation of tension or discord by settling misunderstandings, etc

  9. give someone the air slang to reject or dismiss someone

  10. in the air

    • in circulation; current

    • in the process of being decided; unsettled

  11. into thin air leaving no trace behind

  12. off the air not in the act of broadcasting or being broadcast on radio or television

  13. on the air in the act of broadcasting or being broadcast on radio or television

  14. out of thin air or from thin air suddenly and unexpectedly

  15. take the air to go out of doors, as for a short walk or ride

  16. up in the air

    • uncertain

    • informal agitated or excited

  17. walk on air to feel elated or exhilarated

  18. (modifier) astrology of or relating to a group of three signs of the zodiac, Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius: Compare earth (def. 10), fire (def. 24), water (def. 12)

  1. to expose or be exposed to the air so as to cool or freshen; ventilate: to air a room

  2. to expose or be exposed to warm or heated air so as to dry: to air linen

  1. (tr) to make known publicly; display; publicize: to air one's opinions

  2. (intr) (of a television or radio programme) to be broadcast

Origin of air

C13: via Old French and Latin from Greek aēr the lower atmosphere

British Dictionary definitions for AIR (2 of 3)


abbreviation for
  1. All India Radio

British Dictionary definitions for Aïr (3 of 3)


/ (ˈɑːɪə) /

  1. a mountainous region of N central Niger, in the Sahara, rising to 1500 m (5000 ft): a former native kingdom. Area: about 77 700 sq km (30 000 sq miles): Also called: Azbine, Asben

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

Scientific definitions for air


[ âr ]

  1. The colorless, odorless, tasteless mixture of gases that surrounds the Earth. Air consists of about 78 percent nitrogen and 21 percent oxygen, with the remaining part made up mainly of argon, carbon dioxide, neon, helium, methane, and krypton in decreasing order of volume. Air also contains varying amounts of water vapor, particulate matter such as dust and soot, and chemical pollutants.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Other Idioms and Phrases with air


In addition to the idiom beginning with air

  • air one's grievances

also see:

  • 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

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.