Definition of air noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary





1 [uncountable] the mixture of gases that surrounds the earth and that we breatheair pollutionLet's go out for some fresh air.I need to put some air in my tires.currents of warm airwhales coming up for air (= in order to breathe)The act lays down a minimum standard for air quality. note at outside


2 usually the air [uncountable] the space above the ground or that is around thingsI kicked the ball high in/into the air.Spicy smells wafted through the air.Music filled the night air. see also open air

for planes

3 [uncountable] the space above the earth where planes flyIt only takes three hours by air (= in a plane).air travel/trafficThe temple was clearly visible from the air.A surprise air attack (= from aircraft) was launched at night.


4 [singular] the particular feeling or impression that is given by someone or something; the way someone does somethingThe room had an air of luxury.She looked at him with a defiant air.There was an air of complete confidence about her.

air conditioning

5 often the air [uncountable] = air conditioningTell them to turn up the air.


6 [countable] (old-fashioned) (often used in the title of a piece of music) a tuneBach's Air on a G string


7 airs [plural] (disapproving) a way of behaving that shows that someone thinks that they are more important, etc. than they really areI hate the way she puts on airs.

a breath of (fresh) air

clean air breathed in after being indoors or in a dirty atmosphere
We'll get a breath of fresh air at lunchtime.a breath of aira breath of fresh air

a breath of fresh air

a person, thing, or place that is new and different and therefore interesting and exciting
a breath of fresh air

(build) castles in the air

(to have) plans or dreams that are not likely to happen or come true
As a child he would wander around the docks, building castles in the air about owning a boat one day.castles in the airbuild castles in the air

clear the air

to improve a difficult or tense situation by talking about worries, doubts, etc.
clear the air

come up for air

to stop doing something for a while
After studying all morning, it was time to come up for air.come up for air

disappear, vanish, etc. into thin air

to disappear suddenly in a mysterious way
She can't just have vanished into thin air.disappear, vanish, etc. into thin air

float/walk on air

to feel very happy
Most couples feel like they are walking on air on their wedding day.float on airwalk on air

in the air

felt by a number of people to exist or to be happening
There's romance in the the air

on/off (the) air

broadcasting or not broadcasting on television or radio
We will be back on air tomorrow morning at 7.The program was taken off the air over the summer.on airon the airoff airoff the air

out of thin air

from nowhere or nothing, as if by magic
Unfortunately, I can't just conjure up the money out of thin air!out of thin air

pluck something out of the air

to say a name, number, etc. without thinking about it, especially in answer to a question
I just plucked a figure out of the air and said, “Would $1,000 seem reasonable to you?”pluck out of the air

up in the air

not yet decided
Our travel plans are still up in the air.up in the air