I. gas 1 S1 W2 /ɡæs/ BrE AmE noun ( plural gases or gasses )
[ Sense 1-3, 6-9: Date: 1600-1700 ; Language: Modern Latin ; Origin: Greek khaos 'empty space' ; ⇨ ↑ chaos ]
[ Sense 4-5: Date: 1900-2000 ; Origin: gasoline ]
1 . [uncountable and countable] a substance such as air, which is not solid or liquid, and usually cannot be seen:
a cloud of toxic gas
a gas cylinder/bottle (=for storing gas) ⇨ ↑ greenhouse gas
2 . [uncountable] a clear substance like air that is burned for heating or cooking
Can you light the gas for me?
The explosion was caused by a gas leak from the water heater.
3 . gas mark 4/5/6 etc British English a measurement of the temperature of a gas ↑ oven
4 . [uncountable] American English ( also gasoline ) a liquid made from ↑ petroleum , used mainly for producing power in the engines of cars, trucks etc SYN petrol British English :
I probably spend over $200 a month on gas.
The mechanic found a hole in the gas tank.
5 . the gas American English the gas ↑ pedal of a car SYN accelerator :
We stepped on the gas (=pushed down the gas pedal and made the car go faster) and sped away.
6 . [uncountable] a clear substance like air that is used for medical reasons, for example to make people feel less pain or make them sleep during an operation:
an anaesthetic gas
⇨ ↑ laughing gas
7 . [uncountable] a type of gas used as a weapon, because it harms or kills people when they breathe it in:
⇨ ↑ nerve gas , ↑ poison gas , ↑ tear gas
8 . [uncountable] American English informal the condition of having a lot of air in your stomach SYN wind British English
9 . a gas American English old-fashioned spoken something that is fun and makes you laugh a lot
• • •
COLLOCATIONS (for Meanings 1 & 2)
■ ADJECTIVES/NOUN + gas
▪ natural gas (=gas used for cooking and heating, taken from under the earth or from under the sea)
The main part of natural gas is methane.
▪ a poisonous/toxic gas
Carbon monoxide is the main poisonous gas in car exhaust.
▪ a noxious gas (=a harmful or poisonous gas)
A noxious gas was discovered to be leaking from the pipe.
▪ a greenhouse gas (=a gas, especially carbon monoxide or methane, that is thought to trap heat above the earth and cause the Earth's surface to become warmer)
We need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
▪ nerve gas (=a poisonous gas used in war to kill or paralyse people)
Troops were exposed to low levels of nerve gas during the conflict.
▪ tear gas (=a gas that stings your eyes, used by the police to control crowds)
Police using tear gas had clashed with protestors.
■ gas + NOUN
▪ a gas cooker/oven/stove
Gas cookers are more efficient than electric ones.
▪ a gas fire (=an object that burns gas to heat a room)
She turned on the gas fire.
▪ a gas cylinder (=a large container for gas)
One of the gas cylinders exploded.
▪ a gas bottle (=a small container for gas)
The gas bottles need to be stored in a safe place.
▪ a gas leak (=an escape of gas through a hole in something)
If you suspect a gas leak, do not strike a match or even turn on an electric light.
▪ a gas supply (=a system for supplying gas to someone's house)
The engineers had quite a challenge to install the new gas supply.
▪ gas reserves (=a supply of gas kept to be used when it is needed)
Norway has far greater gas reserves than the UK.
▪ a gas pipeline
The Chinese and Russian governments are cooperating in gas pipeline projects.
▪ a gas bill (=a bill you have to pay for gas you have used)
Household gas bills have increased dramatically.
▪ gas production
The company expanded its gas production facilities.
▪ the gas industry
There are plans to nationalize the country's gas industry.
II. gas 2 BrE AmE verb ( past tense and past participle gassed , present participle gassing )
1 . [transitive] to poison or kill someone with gas
2 . [intransitive] British English informal to talk for a long time about unimportant or boring things SYN chat :
They were just gassing away.
gas up phrasal verb American English
to put petrol in a car:
We’d better gas up before we go.
gas something ↔ up
George gassed up the car.