I. noun Usage: often attributive Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin aer, from Greek aēr Date: 14th century 1. a. archaic breath b. the mixture of invisible odorless tasteless gases (as nitrogen and oxygen) that surrounds the earth c. a light breeze 2. a. empty space b. nothingness <
vanished into thin air
c. a sudden severance of relations <
she gave me the air
3. [probably translation of Italian aria] a. tune, melody b. Elizabethan & Jacobean music an accompanied song or melody in usually strophic form c. the chief voice part or melody in choral music 4. a. outward appearance of a thing <
an air of luxury
b. a surrounding or pervading influence ; atmosphere <
an air of mystery
c. the look, appearance, or bearing of a person especially as expressive of some personal quality or emotion ; demeanor <
an air of dignity
d. an artificial or affected manner <
put on airs
5. public utterance <
he gave air to his opinion
6. compressed air 7. a. (1) aircraft <
go by air
(2) aviation <
air safety
air rights
(3) air force <
air headquarters
b. (1) the medium of transmission of radio waves; also radio, television <
went on the air
(2) airtime 8. a football offense utilizing primarily the forward pass <
trailing by 20 points, the team took to the air
9. an air-conditioning system 10. the height achieved in performing an aerial maneuver <
a snowboarder catching big air
; also the maneuver itself Synonyms: see poseairless adjectiveairlessness noun II. verb Date: 1530 transitive verb 1. to expose to the air for drying, purifying, or refreshing ; ventilate — often used with out 2. to expose to public view or bring to public notice 3. to transmit by radio or television <
air a program
intransitive verb 1. to become exposed to the open air 2. to become broadcast <
the program airs daily
Synonyms: see express

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

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