Air to Alabastrum
(Air) n. [OE. air, eir, F. air, L. aër, fr. Gr. 'ah`r, air, mist, for 'a&digammahr, fr. root 'a&digamma
to blow, breathe, probably akin to E. wind. In sense 10 the French has taking a meaning fr. It. aria
atmosphere, air, fr. the same Latin word; and in senses 11, 12, 13 the French meaning is either fr. L.
aria, or due to confusion with F. aire, in an older sense of origin, descent. Cf. Aëry, Debonair, Malaria,
1. The fluid which we breathe, and which surrounds the earth; the atmosphere. It is invisible, inodorous,
insipid, transparent, compressible, elastic, and ponderable.
By the ancient philosophers, air was regarded as an element; but modern science has shown that it is
essentially a mixture of oxygen and nitrogen, with a small amount of carbon dioxide, the average proportions
being, by volume: oxygen, 20.96 per cent.; nitrogen, 79.00 per cent.; carbon dioxide, 0.04 per cent. These
proportions are subject to a very slight variability. Air also always contains some vapor of water.
2. Symbolically: Something unsubstantial, light, or volatile. "Charm ache with air." Shak.
He was still all air and fire.[Air and fire being the finer and quicker elements as opposed to earth and
3. A particular state of the atmosphere, as respects heat, cold, moisture, etc., or as affecting the sensations; as,
a smoky air, a damp air, the morning air, etc.
4. Any aëriform body; a gas; as, oxygen was formerly called vital air. [Obs.]
5. Air in motion; a light breeze; a gentle wind.
Let vernal airs through trembling osiers play.
6. Odoriferous or contaminated air.
7. That which surrounds and influences.
The keen, the wholesome air of poverty.
8. Utterance abroad; publicity; vent.
You gave it air before me.
9. Intelligence; information. [Obs.] Bacon.
10. (Mus.) (a) A musical idea, or motive, rhythmically developed in consecutive single tones, so as
to form a symmetrical and balanced whole, which may be sung by a single voice to the stanzas of a
hymn or song, or even to plain prose, or played upon an instrument; a melody; a tune; an aria. (b) In
harmonized chorals, psalmody, part songs, etc., the part which bears the tune or melody in modern
harmony usually the upper part is sometimes called the air.
11. The peculiar look, appearance, and bearing of a person; mien; demeanor; as, the air of a youth; a
heavy air; a lofty air. "His very air." Shak.
12. Peculiar appearance; apparent character; semblance; manner; style.
It was communicated with the air of a secret.
12. pl. An artificial or affected manner; show of pride or vanity; haughtiness; as, it is said of a person, he
puts on airs. Thackeray.