One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A machine for supplying air or compressed air, especially one used for ventilating enclosed spaces, as in a mine, ship, etc.
2historical A machine capable of flying, as a hot-air balloon, airship, aeroplane, etc. Now chiefly historical.
Early 18th century; earliest use found in John Keill (1671–1721), mathematician and natural philosopher. From air + machine.
air machine/ˈɛː məˌʃiːn/
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