Meaning of AIR in English

I. air 1 S1 W1 /eə $ er/ BrE AmE noun

[ Sense 1-7, 9: Date: 1200-1300 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: Latin aer , from Greek ]

[ Sense 8: Date: 1500-1600 ; Origin: Probably a translation of Italian aria ; ⇨ ↑ aria ]

1 . GAS [uncountable] the mixture of gases around the Earth, that we breathe:

Let’s go outside and get some fresh air.

You need to put some air in the tyres.

in the air

There was a strong smell of burning in the air.

⇨ a breath of fresh air at ↑ breath (2)

2 . SPACE ABOVE THE GROUND the air the space above the ground or around things

into the air

Flames leapt into the air.

through the air

He fell 2,000 metres through the air without a parachute.


a) by air travelling by, or using, a plane:

I’d prefer to travel by air.

b) relating to or involving planes:

the victims of Britain’s worst air disaster

Air travel was growing rapidly.

air traffic congestion

His brother died in an air crash.

4 . be in the air

a) if a feeling is in the air, a lot of people feel it at the same time:

There was a sense of excitement in the air.

b) to be going to happen very soon:

Change is in the air.

5 . APPEARANCE [singular] if something or someone has an air of confidence, mystery etc, they seem confident, mysterious etc

air of

She had an air of quiet confidence.

She looked at him with a determined air.

6 . be up in the air if something is up in the air, no decision has been made about it yet:

Our trip is still very much up in the air.

7 . be on/off (the) air to be broadcasting on the radio or television at the present moment, or to stop broadcasting:

We’ll be on air in three minutes.

8 . MUSIC [countable] a simple tune, often used in the title of a piece of ↑ classical music

9 . airs [plural] a way of behaving that shows someone thinks they are more important than they really are

put on airs/give yourself airs

Trudy is always putting on airs.

an actor with no airs and graces

10 . be walking/floating on air to feel very happy

⇨ ↑ hot air , ↑ on-air , ⇨ clear the air at ↑ clear 2 (15), ⇨ disappear/vanish into thin air at ↑ thin 1 (15), ⇨ out of thin air at ↑ thin 1 (16)

• • •


■ adjectives

▪ fresh

She opened the window to let in some fresh air.

▪ clean

London’s air is cleaner than it has been at any time since 1585.

▪ warm/hot

Warm air rises and is replaced by cooler and denser air.


I felt a sudden rush of hot air.

▪ cool/cold

The air had turned a little cooler.

▪ crisp (=pleasantly cool)

the crisp autumn air

▪ clear

I looked up to the stars in the clear night air.

▪ damp/humid

Damp air causes condensation.

▪ polluted

The air in Mexico City is heavily polluted.

▪ stale (=not fresh and often full of smoke)

The room was full of stale air and tobacco smoke.

▪ the air is thin (=there is less oxygen because you are in a high place)

People cannot live up there because the air is too thin and there is not enough oxygen to breathe.

▪ the morning/evening/night air

He stepped out and breathed in the cold morning air.

▪ the sea/mountain/country air

the salty smell of the sea air

▪ the still air (=air in which there is no wind)

Smoke from the chimneys hung in the still air.

■ air + NOUN

▪ air pollution

Most air pollution is caused by cars.

▪ the air quality

The air quality is very poor on hot days.

▪ the air pressure

The air pressure had dropped.

■ phrases

▪ a breath of air

I went outside for a breath of air.

▪ a rush/blast/stream of air

There was a cold rush of air as she wound down her window.

▪ a current of air

The birds are able to glide on a current of warm air.

■ verbs

▪ breathe in the air

She breathed in the cool mountain air.

▪ fight/gasp for air (=try to breathe with difficulty)

He clutched his throat as he fought for air.

▪ let in some air (=let fresh air into a room)

It would be nice to open the door and let in some air.

▪ put air into something (=fill a tyre, balloon etc with air)

I need to put some air in the tyres.

II. air 2 BrE AmE verb

1 . OPINION [transitive] to express your opinions publicly

air your views/grievances/complaints etc

Staff will get a chance to ask questions and air their views.

2 . TV/RADIO [intransitive and transitive] to broadcast a programme on television or radio:

KPBS airs such popular children’s programs as ‘Barney’ and ‘Sesame Street’.

The program is due to air next month.

3 . ROOM [transitive] especially British English , air something out American English to let fresh air into a room, especially one that has been closed for a long time

4 . CLOTHES [intransitive and transitive] especially British English , air (something) out American English to put a piece of clothing in a place that is warm or has a lot of air, so that it smells clean:

I’ve left my sweater outside to air.

⇨ ↑ airing , ⇨ air your dirty laundry at ↑ dirty 1 (7)

• • •


■ to say something

▪ say to tell someone something, using words:

‘I really ought to go,’ she said.


Lauren said she’d probably be late.

▪ state to say something, especially in a definite or formal way – used in official contexts:

The witness stated that he had never seen the woman before.


Please state your name and address.

▪ announce to publicly tell people about something:

The chairman announced his resignation.


The results will be announced tomorrow.


We will announce the winners next Sunday.


They were announcing the train times over the loudspeaker system.

▪ declare to say something very firmly:

‘My personal life is none of your business,’ she declared.

▪ mention to talk about someone or something, especially without giving many details:

Did Tom mention anything about what happened at school?


Your name was mentioned!

▪ express to let someone know your feelings by putting them into words:

Young children often find it difficult to express their emotions.

▪ comment to say what your opinion is about someone or something:

The prime minister was asked to comment on the crisis.

▪ note/remark formal to say that you have noticed that something is true – used especially in formal writing:

We have already noted that most old people live alone.


Someone once remarked that the problem with computers is that they only give you answers.

▪ add to say something more, after what has already been said:

He added that he thought it could be done fairly cheaply.

▪ point out to mention something that seems particularly important or relevant:

Dr Graham points out that most children show some signs of abnormal behaviour.


It’s worth pointing out that few people actually die of this disease.

▪ air to talk about your opinions, worries, or the things you disagree about: air your views/grievances/differences :

The programme will give listeners the chance to air their views about immigration.


Workers were able to air their grievances.

▪ voice to talk publicly about your feelings or about whether you approve or disapprove of something formal : voice concern/support/doubt/fears etc :

The president has already voiced his support for the proposal.


She voiced concern for the safety of the hostages.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.