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  1. In zoology, a name of the small white heron. – Dict. of Nat. Hist.
  2. In botany. [See Egret.]
  3. A plume.

AI'GU-LET, n. [Fr. Usually contracted into Aiglet.]

A point or tag, as at the ends of fringes.


A popular name of a species of lichen, or moss. – Fam. of Plants.

AIL, n.

Indisposition, or morbid affection.

AIL, v.t. [Sax. eglian, to be troubled, to be irksome; egle, trouble, grief. In the Saxon, it is impersonal.]

To trouble; to affect with uneasiness, either of body or mind; used to express some uneasiness or affection, whose cause is unknown; as, what ails the man? I know not what ails him. What aileth thee, Hagar? – Gen. xxi. It is never used to express a specific disease. We never say, he ails a pleurisy; but it is usual to say, he ails something; he ails nothing; nothing ails him.

AIL'ING, ppr.

Diseased; indisposed; full of complaints.


Disease; indisposition; morbid affection of the body; but the word is not applied ordinarily to acute diseases.

AIM, n.

  1. The pointing or direction of a missile weapon; the direction of any thing to a particular point or object, with a view to strike or affect it; as a spear, a blow, a discourse or remark.
  2. The point intended to be hit, or object intended to be affected; as, a man missed his aim.
  3. Figuratively, a purpose; intention; design; scheme; as, men are often disappointed of their aim.
  4. Conjecture; guess. It is impossible, by aim, to tell it. [Not used.] – Spenser on Ireland.

AIM, v.i. [Qu. Ir. oigham, to eye. Skinner refers this word to the old Fr. esmer. If this was the orthography, I know not its affinities.]

To point at, with a missive weapon; to direct the intention or purpose; to attempt to reach, or accomplish; to tend toward; to endeavor; followed by at before the object; as, a man aims at distinction; or aims to be rich.

AIM, v.t.

To direct or point as a weapon; to direct to a particular object; as, to aim a musket or an arrow, the fist or a blow; to aim a satire or a reflection at some person or vice.

AIM'ED, pp.

Pointed; directed; intended to strike or affect.

AIM'ER, n.

One that aims.

AIM'ING, ppr.

Pointing a weapon at an object; directing any thing to an object; intending; purposing.


Without aim.


Without aim.

AIR, n. [Fr. air; L. aer; Gr. αηρ; It. aria; Sp. ayre; Port. ar; Arm. ear, eer; Ir. aer; W. awyr; Ch. אויר, aur; Syr. ܐܐܪ, aar; Eth. ኦይረ; Ar. ايار, aiar. This word, in the Shemitic languages, falls under the root אור Heb. and Ch., to shine. The radical sense is to open, expand; whence clear; or to flow, to shoot, to radiate.]

  1. The fluid which we breathe. Air is inodorous, invisible, insipid, colorless, elastic, possessed of gravity, easily moved, rarefied, and condensed. Atmospheric air is composed by volume of 20 or 21 oxygen, and 80 or 79 nitrogen: by weight, of 8 oxygen to 23 nitrogen. Oxygen gas is called vital air. The body of air surrounding the earth is called the atmosphere. The specific gravity of air is to that of water, nearly as 1 to 828. Air is necessary to life; being inhaled into the lungs, the oxygenous part is separated from the azotic, and it is supposed to furnish the body with heat and animation. It is the medium of sounds, and necessary to combustion.
  2. Air in motion; a light breeze. Let vernal airs through trembling osiers play. – Pope.
  3. Vent; utterance abroad; publication; publicity; as, a story has taken air. You gave it air before me. – Dryden. Wind is used in like manner.
  4. A tune; a short song or piece of music adapted to words; also, the peculiar modulation of the notes, which gives music its character; as, a soft air. A song or piece of poetry for singing; also, the leading part of a tune, or that which is intended to exhibit the greatest variety of melody.
  5. The peculiar look, appearance, manner or mien of a person; as, a heavy air; the air of a youth; a graceful air; a lofty air. It is applied to manners or gestures, as well as to features.
  6. Airs, in the plural, is used to denote an affected manner, show of pride, haughtiness; as, when it is said of a person, he puts on airs. The word is used also to express the artificial motions or carriage of a horse.
  7. In painting, that which expresses the life of action; manner; gesture; attitude.
  8. Any thing light or uncertain; that is light as air. Who builds his hope in air of your fair looks. [Qu. Obs.] – Shak.
  9. Advice; intelligence; information. [Obs.] – Bacon.
  10. Different states of air are characterized by different epithets; as, good air, foul air, morning air, evening air; and sometimes airs may have been used for ill-scent or vapor, but the use is not legitimate. To take the air, is to go abroad; to walk or ride a little distance. To take air, is to be divulged; to be made public.

AIR, v.t.

  1. To expose to the air; to give access to the open air; to ventilate; as, to air clothes; to air a room.
  2. To expose to heat; to warm; as, to air liquors.
  3. To dry by a fire; to expel dampness; as, to air linen.

AIR'A, n.

Hair-grass, a genus of plants.



One who makes or uses air-balloons. – Kirby.


A vesicle or cuticle filled with air; also, the bladder of a fish. – Arbuthnot.


Born of the air. – Congreve.


Borne in or by the air.


Braving the winds. – Shak.


Erected in the air; having no solid foundation; chimerical; as, an air-built castle; air-built hopes.