Definition for AIR

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.

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