Definition of gas in English:



  • 1An air-like fluid substance which expands freely to fill any space available, irrespective of its quantity.

    ‘hot balls of gas that become stars’
    [count noun] ‘poisonous gases’
    • ‘Because the atmosphere includes greenhouse gasses, solar warming and greenhouse warming are related.’
    • ‘The treaty gives industrialized nations eight years to cut their collective emissions of six key greenhouse gasses.’
    • ‘Due to its electric drive, it is completely independent from the turbocharger and the thermal energy of the exhaust gasses.’
    • ‘Burning rubbish - plastics, treated wood, and old chemical containers release poisonous gasses when they are burnt.’
    • ‘Boyle's Law is a statement of the relationship between the pressure and volume of gasses.’
    • ‘They have the ability to ‘breath’ or exchange gasses through the skin as well as the lungs.’
    • ‘The hydrogen either will be absorbed in soils or react with other gasses in the atmosphere.’
    • ‘He looked over his shoulder at the source of the transmission, only to see a rapidly expanding ball of gasses and wreckage.’
    • ‘More than likely you will see a straight line cut into it from hot gasses escaping from the barrel/cylinder gap.’
    • ‘Increases in temperatures and greenhouse gasses have been even sharper since the 1950s.’
    • ‘I combined all the ingredients and I tied off the bag leaving plenty of room for the gasses to expand into.’
    • ‘It's difficult to separate natural variability from greenhouse gasses.’
    • ‘The spherical wavefront of expanding gasses and space debris burst past the Aspiration, rocking the vehicle even through the shielding.’
    • ‘Greenhouse gasses are in Earth's atmosphere and warm the planet.’
    • ‘The £1.7 million car emits no carbon dioxide or other gasses, and the water that dribbles out of the exhaust pipe is so clean you can drink it.’
    • ‘Sea turtle lungs are adapted to permit a rapid exchange of oxygen and to prevent the formation of gasses during deep dives.’
    • ‘These gasses are heavier than air and offer better insulation.’
    • ‘Chris had his committed cluster hunters searched for X-rays, the telltale signs of the incredibly hot gasses in a galaxy cluster.’
    • ‘As part of the project, pupils at the three Kerry schools will work to reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses produced by their schools.’
    • ‘All these gasses emitted in the atmosphere MAY act as a shield, and hold in the heat.’
    discussion, talk, chat, gossip, tête-à-tête, heart-to-heart, head-to-head, exchange, dialogue, parley, consultation, conference
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    1. 1.1Physics A gaseous substance that cannot be liquefied by the application of pressure alone.
      Compare with vapour
      • ‘The resulting ester was saponified under basic conditions to the free acid, converted to the acyl chloride with thionyl chloride, and then to the amide with anhydrous ammonia gas.’
      • ‘The simplest sources are hydrogen-rich compounds like hydrogen gas, hydrogen sulfide gas and hydrocarbons.’
      • ‘Free oxygen was released when ultraviolet light hit carbon monoxide gas.’
      • ‘Carbon dioxide gas is heavier than oxygen, so it displaces the oxygen surrounding the burning fuel.’
      • ‘Nitrogen dioxide is a brown gas, transformed from nitric oxide contained in emissions.’
      chat, talk, conversation, chatter, heart-to-heart, tête-à-tête, powwow, blether, blather
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    2. 1.2A flammable gas used as a fuel.
      ‘cooking is done by bottled gas’
      • ‘So in the House today, the Greens are advocating, for some reason, the burning of fossil fuels - gas in Auckland and diesel along with wind generation.’
      • ‘As mentioned before, water can wind up in your gas or diesel fuel as a result of condensation in the tank.’
      • ‘We have to drastically reduce the burning of fossil fuels, coal, oil and gas, so we need more wind farms to produce cleaner electricity.’
      • ‘Hydrogen can either be generated by wind or solar energy, or by using fossil fuels such as gas.’
      • ‘It needs expensive or scarce fuel, such as gas or wood, to heat it and experience to run it.’
      • ‘The engines are fuelled by liquid petroleum gas, which means that there is no risk of a fire breaking out.’
      • ‘The price of food items sold at hotels has already jumped by 15 to 25 percent and the cost of commodities produced by factories using gas as a fuel will be affected.’
      • ‘The tax will apply to coal, gas, petrol, diesel and other fuels.’
      • ‘Along with other fossil fuels like coal and gas.’
      • ‘The booming economy is also enticing new industries into the country and encouraging existing businesses to expand, fuelling further demands for gas.’
      • ‘It's like the difference between rocket fuel and cheap gas.’
      • ‘Most were put in a pile, doused with gas and fuel oil, and set afire.’
      • ‘Cheaper gas and fuel will give households more money to spend on other items.’
      • ‘We can go on to by-products of petroleum such as plastics and with gas as fuel we can do aluminium products with bauxite from Guyana and Jamaica.’
      • ‘Another cylinder of gas is required to fuel the single ring burner used to boil the kettle.’
      • ‘It can be used as a fuel in power stations to generate electricity or heat as an environmental alternative to burning fossil fuels such as gas, coal and oil.’
      • ‘Gas and diesel convergence: to fend off fuel cells, gas and diesel engine experts are swapping efficiency secrets’
      • ‘The country is relatively rich in mineral resources but, unlike Russia, is underendowed in fuels such as gas, oil, and coal.’
      • ‘Furthermore, the availability of a major source of gas in south-west Wales could potentially attract other industries which need gas as a fuel.’
      • ‘Mother Nature's fossil fuels, oil and gas are running out fast and if we do not wish to be held to ransom by imported energy our representatives must act now.’
    3. 1.3A gaseous anaesthetic such as nitrous oxide, used in dentistry.
      • ‘Two other reports exist of nitrous oxide anaesthesia being used in patients with intraocular gas in a closed eye.’
      • ‘The gas used for anaesthetic purposes is a mixture of 80 per cent nitrous oxide and 20 per cent oxygen.’
      • ‘Nowadays, general anaesthesia is seldom administered via a mask and anaesthetic gas or vapour.’
      • ‘The condor was put under anaesthetic gas for the 20 minute procedure - carried out by zoo vet Brash in Flamingo Land's own clinic a fortnight ago.’
      • ‘This form of anesthesia was easily controlled by stopping the gas, and the patient would revive quickly.’
      • ‘He compared being so short of hand towels to running out of anaesthetic gas during an operation.’
    4. 1.4Gas or vapour used as a poisonous agent in warfare.
      ‘gas was one of the most dreaded weapons of the war’
      • ‘Videos from his collection, showing dogs being killed by poisonous gas or a nerve agent, were recently aired on CNN.’
      • ‘This year is the 90th anniversary of the invention of modern gas warfare.’
      • ‘Instantaneous fuses and gas or smoke shells made possible heavy and lethal barrages that did not make ground impassable to assaulting infantry.’
      • ‘In 1992, 43 tons of chlorine gas were released in Henderson, Nevada, causing distress to hundreds of people.’
      • ‘According to radio reports military police used pepper gas spray to overpower him, but that could not be officially confirmed.’
      • ‘Think of the urine soaked handkerchiefs used by Canadian soldiers in The Great War to repel the effects of German poison gases.’
      • ‘CS gas grenades were originally made like smoke grenades, with the CS irritant being emitted through apertures in the top.’
      • ‘Machine-guns, gas, high explosives, flame-throwers and air attacks slaughtered the lines of men marching out of the trenches.’
      • ‘The use of the gas in warfare is banned under international chemical weapons treaties.’
      • ‘If there is a gas or nerve agent attack and you are not wearing a full NBC suit, a suitable respirator or immediate access to a nerve agent antidote injection, you will die.’
      • ‘He made a specialty of chemical and gas warfare and minefields and his war caused a million deaths.’
      • ‘Whether or not gas will be employed in future wars is a matter of conjecture.’
      • ‘In one case, military police sprayed pepper gas on a group of university students to stop them from singing while waiting to be removed from the Navy base.’
      • ‘The name was a hangover from the First World War, when the larger mortars were employed to lay down smoke or gas.’
    5. 1.5North American Gas generated in the alimentary canal; flatulence.
      • ‘For general bloating and gas, over-the-counter products containing simethicone can help.’
      • ‘Intestinal gas is typically caused by the fermentation of undigested food, such as plant fiber, in the colon.’
      • ‘However, although painful abdominal gas may contribute to colic, there is little evidence to prove it's due to gastrointestinal problems.’
      • ‘To avoid problems with gas, add high-fiber foods to your diet slowly.’
      • ‘A chest and abdominal film from the first day of life demonstrated the ectopia cordis and a paucity of bowel gas in the abdomen.’
      • ‘This is especially true if you have had a procedure that typically leads to a large amount of intestinal gas, such as a colonoscopy with polypectomy.’
      • ‘Oral cholecystography is used when patients are obese and have a large amount of overlying bowel gas which makes ultrasonography more difficult.’
      • ‘Supine and upright abdominal radiographs with stepladder pattern of air-fluid levels and no colonic gas are suggestive of obstruction.’
      • ‘An increase in abdominal gas may be due to three complications.’
      • ‘Her last bowel movement had occurred 3 days previously, and she had not passed any gas for more than 24 hours.’
      • ‘Some people get a lot of gas from foods that don't bother others.’
      • ‘This almost involuntary practice relieves the symptom but it also produces gas and bloating.’
      • ‘Notably, the peritoneal cavity was dry and was not distended with gas.’
      • ‘You may feel bloated or have gas for a few hours after the exam.’
      • ‘This slows down your digestion and can cause gas to build up.’
      • ‘The most commonly reported side effects are gas, constipation, stomach pain, and indigestion.’
      • ‘In this patient you do see gas in the distal bowel.’
      • ‘Dosing is limited by gastrointestinal side effects of gas, bloating, and constipation.’
      • ‘Digestion of beans and other complex carbohydrates requires gas-producing bacteria, leading to increased gas.’
      • ‘A colicky baby more likely has gas because of the colic.’
      intestinal gas, wind, gas
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    6. 1.6Mining An explosive mixture of firedamp with air.
      • ‘To clear mines of gas - be it explosive or poisonous - a crude system of ventilation was used.’
      • ‘Late in the afternoon, during the shift change, an explosion of methane gas, "firedamp," blasted deep in the underground workings.’
  • 2North American informal

    ‘we stopped for gas’
    short for gasoline
    • ‘I had to stop in Jamestown for gas and that is where I realized I didn't have my house keys.’
    • ‘But we guessed correctly, and turning lights on, stopping only for gas, drove east.’
    • ‘So the manager says if the price of gas goes above that, he's going to have to stop selling gas.’
    • ‘We stopped for gas on the way home and were parking in front of her house when she turned to relate what I've come to think of as the quintessential Lisa story.’
    • ‘We were waiting on a retro pick-up and stopped for gas aboard a nearby ship.’
    • ‘When I stopped for gas, it wasn't uncommon for me to grab a bag of chips, a soda and some candy, too.’
    • ‘Those gas prices are not stopping tens of thousands of travelers from hitting the roadways around Chicago tonight after a winter storm hit the Windy City today.’
    • ‘Sometimes Bud stops to get gas, and this always feels like a momentous occasion.’
    • ‘We were stopping for gas beyond the edge of town and spotted some Arundo growing on a knoll behind the filling station.’
    • ‘Before a trip out of town, I stopped for gas at the Shell station on Angell Street.’
    • ‘The Turkish move to stop buying gas altogether paid off and Iran finally agreed to decrease the prices.’
    • ‘Now I know it's surprising to see a different gas price every time you stop at a Texonobil.’
    • ‘The Jeep started to tip backward and he gave it more gas which caused it to flip over.’
    • ‘She drove, making two stops for gas on the way home to Sager's Creek.’
    • ‘But we do know she encountered them in her attempt to stop and get gas.’
    • ‘On the way home, we stopped for some gas and lottery tickets.’
    • ‘Sure, we made a couple stops for gas, food, and nature calls, but I really didn't expect to get here so late.’
    • ‘When the team stopped for gas, their vans were filled up with unleaded instead of diesel gasoline.’
    • ‘We stopped for gas at Stovepipe Wells, a minimal town boasting an elevation of five feet above sea level, and a mandatory T-shirt purchase location.’
    • ‘His father owns a roadside store, a popular stop for gas and takeout.’
    1. 2.1Used in reference to power or the accelerator of a car.
      ‘I ordered my friend to step on the gas’
      • ‘As soon as she was out of the car, Ray stepped on the gas and shot forward, trying to run over my grandmother.’
      • ‘He stepped on the gas and the rear end of his car first swerved gently to the right, and then to the left.’
      • ‘The victim reported that she placed her vehicle in reverse and ducked down as she stepped on the gas swerving back and forth out of the immediate intersection.’
      • ‘Wellings was three over through the first three holes and five over at the turn, but stepped on the gas on the back nine to close with a spectacular three-under 33 to finish at 74.’
      • ‘His ‘Baby Boy’ discovery, Tyrese, steps on the gas and leaves former star Diesel in the dust.’
      • ‘But there also are consequences for signaling to criminals that they can escape by just stepping on the gas.’
  • 3informal An entertaining or amusing person or situation.

    ‘the party would be a gas’
    • ‘We both thought it a bit crazy at the time, and we also thought it would be a gas.’
    • ‘Since then, it's been a rather gentle decline, although many in the UK during the 80s and 90s still thought I was a gas.’
    1. 3.1Irish [mass noun]Enjoyment, amusement, or fun.
      ‘it was great gas in the club last night’
      • ‘It was great gas and he always ended up feeling glad that he lived in Ireland after he'd watch it.’


  • 1Kill or harm by exposure to gas.

    ‘my son was gassed at Verdun’
    • ‘But it's only at the end of the film that we learn what appears to have really happened: it is he himself who killed his mother, gassing her whilst apparently suffering from a delusion that she is another person.’
    • ‘That would leave unaccounted for 3,000 kilos, which he contended would have been more than enough to kill the 250,000 people estimated to have been gassed to death that year.’
    • ‘Yesterday journalists returned to the theatre to see the women once again, only this time they were sitting in the plush red seats of the stalls where they had been apparently gassed and then shot dead.’
    • ‘Six death camps were built in occupied Poland to systematically kill people who were gassed and their bodies burned in crematoria.’
    • ‘Oh, you mean that awful thing in the second World War where they gassed and killed all the people in one area?’
    • ‘A father who gassed himself and his four young sons in a horrific murder-suicide was a devoted dad whose children ‘were his life’, according to shocked neighbours.’
    • ‘How would he feel if his father had been gassed, shot or hung in Auschwitz or Dachau, instead of his luckier fate, enjoying a good, long life hurling insults at others?’
    • ‘In other words, it cannot gas enemy soldiers, but it reserves the right to gas prisoners and civilians!’
    • ‘So the first prisoners to be gassed are transported back to the ‘old Reich’ in Germany to be murdered.’
    • ‘The latter were sent to special institutions at Grafeneck, Hadamar, Bernburg, Brandenburg, Sonnenstein, and Hartheim where they were gassed.’
    • ‘His tens of thousands of victims were often gassed or shot in the back of the head or tortured to death, but I have not heard that they were photographed in their t-shirts.’
    • ‘When animals are killed on fur farms they are gassed or beaten and many of them are alive when they are skinned.’
    • ‘After the uprising, 7,000 people were gassed in extermination camps, while 30,000 were shot there.’
    • ‘As one character says here, with desperate weariness: ‘We electrocuted him, gassed him, put him in front of a firing squad.’’
    • ‘She had to listen helplessly for an hour as her sons were gassed in the back of a car by her estranged husband.’
    • ‘It is the most humane method as opposed to shooting or gassing the fox.’
    • ‘We went on to discuss whether MSPs regarded country people as ‘fair game to bash’, along with the relative welfare aspects of hunting foxes over shooting or gassing them.’
    • ‘One soldier was gassed by him when he attacked them.’
    • ‘They are in Britain because their families were gassed and murdered by his regime.’
    • ‘There were camps built to exterminate them; most were gassed, but some were shot, drowned, or starved to death.’
    execute, hang, send to the gallows, send to the gibbet, behead, guillotine, decapitate, electrocute, send to the electric chair, send to the chair, shoot, put before a firing squad, send to the gas chamber, gas, crucify, stone, stone to death
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[no object](of a storage battery or dry cell) give off gas.
      ‘the maintenance-free charger controls the input without inducing gassing’
      • ‘It is however possible to compress the cell packs subsequent to their formation and prior to inserting them into their final container to expel at least a proportion of their electrolyte which will reduce the amount of electrolyte which needs to be gassed off in the finished cells.’
  • 2informal [no object] Talk excessively about trivial matters.

    ‘I thought you'd never stop gassing’
    • ‘Elsewhere, Ofcom's Communications Market 2004 report found that people are spending loads more time online, oodles more time gassing on their mobile phones but only a smidgen more watching TV.’
    • ‘He gassed on about how much he'd been chatting with him lately, how the two men were looking forward to working hand in hand - never mind his rhetoric about demolishing Albany’s culture of dysfunction.’
    • ‘And LA Weekly opined that ‘Lopez and Affleck try not to smile at each other while gassing on and on until you're praying, dear God, please make them shut up and do it so we can all go home in peace’.’
    • ‘First, the idea that the acme of being civilised is lying around your dining table gassing about culture and politics in a nice city, while the slaves do the washing up.’
  • 3North American informal Fill the tank of (a motor vehicle) with petrol.

    ‘after gassing up the car, he went into the restaurant’
    • ‘You've got to gas up the car and put air in the tires.’
    • ‘Pack your bags, gas the car and thank the voice in your heart for speaking up.’
    • ‘How exactly do we justify over-taxing struggling families with children to keep gassing up the Winnebagos of over-rewarded elders?’
    • ‘They can gas my car and change four tires in less then fourteen seconds during a pit stop.’
    • ‘Don't overlook ordinary moments either: sitting in a sidewalk café, gassing up the car, or just dozing by the hotel pool.’
    • ‘He finished gassing up, hung up the hose, then came over to where I was standing and got right in my face.’
    • ‘After gassing up the car, I thought to myself how fortunate I was to have bought a Super Soaker.’
    • ‘Their rapidly building fight peaks when he passes on gassing up, leaving them stranded roadside.’
    • ‘We stopped by the convenience store to gas up the car and get a soda.’
    • ‘At one of the pumps, an unshaved man in racing clothes was gassing up his motorcycle.’
    • ‘Surprise her one day by washing, vacuuming, and gassing up her car.’
    • ‘Florida residents in the path of the hurricane tonight are boarding up their homes and businesses, gassing up their cars, and hitting the highway.’
    • ‘Even though his car was gassed, his things were packed, and he had his girl ready and waiting, he still had much to do.’
    • ‘The left tank was for gassing up the lawnmower, cars, and pickups and the right tank was for fueling the grain truck, the haystack movers, and anything John Deere green.’
    • ‘The family finished gassing up, pulled out of the station - and less than two blocks away, they passed the local Catholic church.’
    • ‘Make time to pick up food on the way out of town or when you stop to gas up.’
    • ‘Tess went into the convenience store to pay as Michael gassed the car.’
    • ‘He left the home on a 15-minute pass to go to the store, passed a gas station, and saw a van being gassed up.’
    • ‘Bill finished gassing up his car and went to pay.’
    • ‘Could it be that the cost of gassing up the Subaru Outback has priced this woman out of her weekly trip to Whole Foods?’


  • Very amusing or entertaining.

    ‘Ruthie, that's gas—you're a gem’
    • ‘That sounds gas that the two of them are chattering and getting on so well.’


  • be cooking with gas

    • informal Make good progress in a task.

      ‘once your leaders understand what you want, you're cooking with gas’
      • ‘In terms of the economy we are cooking with gas.’
      • ‘He is really cooking with gas after scooping the Student of the Year award.’
      • ‘Have to say, whoever the strength and conditioning coach is, they're cooking with gas.’
      • ‘Today I installed a USB 2 card—now I'm cooking with gas.’
      • ‘Add a small bowl of Greek black olives and you're cooking with gas.’
  • run out of gas

    • informal Run out of energy; lose momentum.

      ‘as a humorist he ran out of gas years ago’
      • ‘Most people who fail wind up failing just because they just run out of gas.’
      • ‘And then his campaign ran out of gas - out of money, out of time, out of campaign workers, volunteers, bumper stickers, you name it.’
      • ‘Now that the yield curve has ‘lost its curve’, this profit engine has run out of gas.’
      • ‘Like the millions of Americans who were stuck lined up at the pumps in 1977, after dropping Blue Moves, his first dud in seven years, he was also running out of gas.’
      • ‘He, who tied a record with 30 sets spanning 20 hours in seven matches last year, is trying to conserve energy this time after running out of gas in the 2004 final against Roger.’
      • ‘They either had to introduce an endless string of home-run new products that didn't require big incentives to sell - an impossible goal - or they could keep asking their suppliers for more price cuts, a strategy that is running out of gas.’
      • ‘The pop craze over the Kabbalah Centre may have passed and despite the group's energy drink, it may be running out of gas.’
      • ‘The season-spanning cliffhanger finally runs out of gas in this wrap-up to the Season 6 finale.’
      • ‘The reason I say that is because Pete was getting a lot of key hits and I thought maybe he was running out of gas.’
      • ‘It briefly picks it up near the home stretch, but runs out of gas by the end, which will probably leave you wanting more.’


Mid 17th century: invented by J. B. van Helmont (1577–1644), Belgian chemist, to denote an occult principle which he believed to exist in all matter; suggested by Greek khaos chaos, with Dutch g representing Greek kh.