up in the air

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Not settled, uncertain, as in The proposal to build a golf course next to the airport is still up in the air. This metaphoric expression likens something floating in the air to an unsettled matter. Put as in the air from the mid-1700s, it acquired up in the first half of the 1900s.

Were you ready for a quiz on this topic? Well, here it is! See how well you can differentiate between the uses of "was" vs. "were" in this quiz.
Question 1 of 7
“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

Words nearby up in the air

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

How to use up in the air in a sentence