noun, plural gas·es or gas·ses.
- Also called gas pedal.the foot-operated accelerator of an automotive vehicle: Take your foot off the gas.
- empty talk.
- a person or thing that is very entertaining, pleasing, or successful: The party was an absolute gas, and we loved it.
- a person or thing that affects one strongly.
verb (used with object), gassed, gas·sing.
- to talk nonsense or falsehood to.
- to amuse or affect strongly: Her weird clothes really gas me.
verb (used without object), gassed, gas·sing.
- to indulge in idle, empty talk.
- to become drunk (often followed by up).
Origin of gas
Related Words for gas upfeed, inflame, incite, sustain, nourish, service, supply, fire, gas, charge, fan
noun plural gases or gasses
- to increase the speed of a motor vehicle; accelerate
- to hurry
verb gases, gasses, gassing or gassed
Word Origin for gas
1650s, from Dutch gas, probably from Greek khaos "empty space" (see chaos). The sound of Dutch "g" is roughly equivalent to that of Greek "kh." First used by Flemish chemist J.B. van Helmont (1577-1644), probably influenced by Paracelsus, who used khaos in an occult sense of "proper elements of spirits" or "ultra-rarified water," which was van Helmont's definition of gas.
Modern scientific sense began 1779, with later specialization to "combustible mix of vapors" (1794, originally coal gas); "anesthetic" (1894, originally nitrous oxide); and "poison gas" (1900). Meaning "intestinal vapors" is from 1882. "The success of this artificial word is unique" [Weekley]. Slang sense of "empty talk" is from 1847; slang meaning "something exciting or excellent" first attested 1953, from earlier hepster slang gasser in the same sense (1944). Gas also meant "fun, a joke" in Anglo-Irish and was used so by Joyce (1914). As short for gasoline, it is American English, first recorded 1905.
1886, "to supply with gas," from gas (n.). Sense of "poison with gas" is from 1889 as an accidental thing, from 1915 as a military attack. Related: Gassed; gassing.
n. pl. gas•es
Supply a vehicle with gasoline, as in I want to be sure to gas up before we go. James M. Cain used this term in The Postman Always Rings Twice (1934): “I went to gas up a car.” [Colloquial; c. 1930 Also see tank up.
In addition to the idiom beginning with gas
- gas up
- cook with gas
- run out of steam (gas)