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Word of the Day
Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Definitions for pneumatic

  1. of or relating to air, gases, or wind.
  2. of or relating to pneumatics.
  3. operated by air or by the pressure or exhaustion of air: a pneumatic drill.

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Citations for pneumatic
... the most immediate impression is that of noise, continuous, oppressive, meaningless noise. Highway noise--from the labored snarl of the big rigs shifting on the grades to the pneumatic whuff of fast passenger traffic. John D. MacDonald, A Deadly Shade of Gold, 1965
Another voice responded--quieter, murmuring, followed by the pneumatic wheeze of an opening car trunk. Pasha Malla, People Park, 2012
Origin of pneumatic
The Latin adjective pneumaticus “pertaining to air or wind” refers only to machines or devices powered or driven by wind. The Greek original, pneumatikόs, has many other meanings not in Latin, e.g., (as a neuter noun) a subtle substance or being; (of wine or food) causing flatulence or wind; breath, breathing, exhalation, and respiration; pertaining to the spirit or spirits, spiritual. Modern usage goes far beyond the Greek: practical pneumatic tires for bicycles (which maintain their shape by compressed air) were made toward the end of the 19th century. And the English man of letters Aldous Huxley (1894–1963) used pneumatic in his novel Brave New World (1932) in the sense of “bosomy, busty,” a sense that he likely invented. Pneumatic entered English in the 17th century.