Definition of air in US English:



  • 1The invisible gaseous substance surrounding the earth, a mixture mainly of oxygen and nitrogen.

    • ‘There was a hole in the floor through which poured a festive mixture of frigid air and diesel fumes.’
    • ‘Exposing the fabric to the oxygen in air and heating it for a while changes the molecules back to indigo.’
    • ‘At almost 5,000 ft, it is surrounded by rarefied air, seductive silence and dreamy peaks.’
    • ‘Oxygen is heavier than air, so it can collect in low areas, such as the lower airway.’
    • ‘Before long, the hot air inside the balloon is less dense than the cool air that surrounds it.’
    • ‘We never closed the curtains and were consistently surrounded by light and air.’
    • ‘Hence, toxic substances in air can easily reach the lung and produce harmful effects locally and in other organs.’
    • ‘Beat the butter into the chocolate and cream, trying not to get any air into the mixture.’
    • ‘The chilled air surrounded him as he trudged off towards his car parked only a few feet away.’
    • ‘The engine is normal and the mixture of air / fuel is right when the color of the plug is tan.’
    • ‘The plant leaves suck pollution out of the air and cool the rooftop and surrounding air considerably.’
    • ‘The air sizzled as oxygen was greedily consumed by the roiling ball of fire.’
    • ‘The surface tension of water is increased, and even the density of air surrounding the Earth ebbs and flows like the tides in the sea.’
    • ‘The most familiar cause of hypoxic hypoxia is the low oxygen content of air at high altitude.’
    • ‘Whatever he became in that no-man's land he was a ghost, invisible as air.’
    • ‘When in doubt, it doesn't hurt to err on the safe side and add air or nitrogen to your tires.’
    • ‘The soybean takes nitrogen from air in the soil and fixes it in nodules on its roots.’
    • ‘Most victims were long gone, to hospitals or morgues, and their attackers were as invisible as air.’
    • ‘It is a natural process for a fire to draw in air to consume its oxygen.’
    • ‘In gasification, crushed coal is reacted with steam and either air or pure oxygen.’
    1. 1.1 Air regarded as necessary for breathing.
      ‘the air was stale’
      ‘the doctor told me to get some fresh air’
      • ‘She once again inhaled the autumn air and then jumped back in her car.’
      • ‘Breathing fresh air is vital, so get outdoors as much as possible.’
      • ‘It seemed many long minutes before Giles came back up for air.’
      • ‘The water pushed her upwards, though, and soon she was back on the surface, gasping for air.’
      • ‘For many, the north shore still holds the allure of country life with historic towns, cleaner air and a slower pace of life.’
      • ‘When I emerged from the ground I felt the warm breeze of the evening on my face and took my first breaths of fresh air.’
      • ‘I do believe that being able to breathe fresh mountain air, see the sea or green hills all the time does a lot for one's spirit.’
      • ‘What seems like winter cold symptoms can often be allergic reactions to dust and fungus in stale, heated indoor air.’
      • ‘They suffocated and strangled me simultaneously, and I had to fight to surface for air.’
      • ‘A new study shows air pollution in some national parks is so bad it rivals the smog in major cities.’
      • ‘I stood on the precipice gulping air, awestruck.’
      • ‘He had seen enough and was having trouble breathing because the air was thin.’
      • ‘Automobile exhaust fumes have become a major contributor to air pollution globally.’
      • ‘Children from far away cities came here for summer camps to breathe the sea air and eat fresh fish.’
      • ‘After being locked down for so long it will be exhilarating to exit my cell and to breathe the fresh desert air.’
      • ‘My body heat rose to my face in the cool, stale bus air.’
      • ‘He wrestled her arm away long enough to gasp a few precious seconds of air from the surface before going under.’
      • ‘Why do we have to leave our cities and towns to breathe fresh air?’
      • ‘The ban is meant to boost air quality by reducing smoke.’
      • ‘As I rested day after day in the sun, breathing the fresh air, God slowly turned my life around.’
      going on, happening, afoot, around, about, abroad, circulating, current, stirring, in circulation, at large, going about, in the wind
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 The free or unconfined space above the surface of the earth.
      ‘he celebrated by tossing his hat high in the air’
      • ‘Cheers and whistles filled the air.’
      • ‘It would fly up in the air and you had to hit it again as far as you could.’
      • ‘I watched as the ground slipped farther and farther away as we were pulled into air, then space.’
      • ‘Mr Cooper, who had been in front of his brother, said he heard a noise and looked back to see Andrew with his hands up in the air.’
      • ‘Murray is succeeding by keeping the ball out of the air and on the ground.’
      • ‘Ultimately, one of the dog's hind legs shoots up in the air, as its head goes down.’
      • ‘People have invaded the earth and the air; even the surface of the water is sliced through with boats.’
      • ‘Think about it like this: If you stand on the ground and jump into the air, you burn about ten calories.’
      • ‘The smell of fried chicken wafted through the air.’
      • ‘Bright-orange flocks of butterflies fill the air - the migrating monarchs.’
      • ‘Her reflection in the sparkling water below and in the clear blue air above stretches to infinity.’
      • ‘Wolves have launched an inquiry into how Mrs Butler was hurt by a firework that should have flown straight up in the air.’
      • ‘Cirrus clouds indicated the distant approach of a trough, both in the surface and upper air.’
      • ‘Despite the visual high of watching a superhero leaping across rooftops or swinging through the air at incredibly dangerous speeds, the film is really a love story.’
      • ‘Divots can be seen flying through the air.’
      • ‘Experts say that if the volcano erupts, it might throw hot rocks into the air above the surface of the sea.’
      • ‘The air above this sea ice is deprived of heat and moisture from the ocean.’
      sky, heavens, ether
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3usually as modifier Referring to the use of aircraft.
      ‘air traffic’
      ‘all goods must come in by air’
      • ‘The government started also bombing us from above, from the air.’
      • ‘Information was a major enabler of this strike and of the air campaign that followed.’
      • ‘Six weeks on people were beginning to come back to air travel.’
      • ‘The quest for offensive power did its part to make the loss of air superiority permanent.’
      • ‘Defeat came from air superiority in the west and numerical superiority in the east.’
      • ‘At the time no one realized that this was the aircraft which would win the air war over the Pacific.’
      • ‘They are searching in cars, on foot and from the air.’
      • ‘It is one of the ugliest cities I've ever seen, from the air.’
      • ‘Further events followed in the afternoon including air displays and model aircraft flying.’
      • ‘It was the third major air disaster involving aircraft flying in or out of the airport in the space of eight years.’
      • ‘The Convention provides an exclusive legal framework for the settlement of disputes arising out of the international carriage of goods (and passengers) by air.’
      • ‘The bad news for air travelers is that in the long term, fares are bound to increase.’
      • ‘Suppose the world population is housed, educated and fed and wants air travel on tap?’
      • ‘It has since been implemented at all the air logistics centers, albeit in a limited capacity.’
      • ‘This success led to an order directing all military airfields to have an air ambulance.’
      • ‘Nimitz knew that the battle that would ensue would involve aircraft and air supremacy.’
      • ‘As we were taxiing out to the strip I saw some air activity east of the field.’
      • ‘Bomber Command's air offensive against Germany was one of the epic campaigns of World War II.’
      • ‘In a world in which air travel would continue to become cheaper, tourism here had to build on quality.’
      • ‘To facilitate the customer you need to have access by road, by air and by the normal routes.’
    4. 1.4 The earth's atmosphere as a medium for transmitting radio waves.
      ‘radio stations have successfully sold products over the air’
      • ‘The idea that comes to my mind is to do a TV show, but to do it strictly online rather than over the air.’
      • ‘In theory the network can send its logo over the air - as with a Nokia phone - in practice they won't.’
      • ‘But they're sending your confidential data over the air through a broadcast system.’
    5. 1.5 Air considered as one of the four elements in ancient philosophy and in astrology (associated with the signs of Gemini, Aquarius, and Libra).
      • ‘Bring the element of air into the environment with wind chimes and fans.’
      • ‘As an air sign, Aquarius relates to places that are high off the ground or above the general eye line.’
      • ‘The diagram shows, for instance, that the combination of hot and cold produces the element of air and the humour of blood.’
      • ‘So if the chart is cast for noon then Saturn acts as the triplicity ruler of all the air signs; at midnight Mercury would be used instead.’
      • ‘He is said to have believed in fire and air as basic elements and thought of the world as a living being with God as its soul.’
      • ‘In vedic astrology, Virgo has some qualities of air, because Mercury is considered an airy planet for them.’
      • ‘The air signs are the guys who seem self-obsessed but spend most of their time with other people.’
      • ‘The lack of air in a birth chart can indicate difficulty in the expression of that person.’
      • ‘Neither buildings nor people can escape the logic of the elements of fire and air.’
      • ‘As an air sign, Libra likes to keep things light, bright and positive.’
    6. 1.6 A breeze or light wind.
      See also light air
      • ‘In the light airs, the crews must step gingerly around the boat to retain boatspeed.’
      • ‘From the mobile start line near the east shore north of Hen Holme, the fleet of 12 yachts spread out across the lake in light airs.’
      • ‘From the mobile start line north of Rough Holme, Naiad got away well in the light south-westerly airs and reached the windward mark at Claife with a narrow lead.’
      • ‘Sailing performance is very respectable particularly in light to moderate air.’
      • ‘They've had sea swells of 40 metres and snow, followed by light airs.’
      • ‘All of the heroes that is, except for the heroes of the airs… of the winds.’
      • ‘Light winds make finding carp that much harder, so let's just take a look at a few ways of hopefully getting on fish when light airs are the order of the day.’
      breeze, draught, wind
      View synonyms
    7. 1.7 Air conditioning.
  • 2An impression of a quality or manner given by someone or something.

    ‘she answered with a faint air of boredom’
    ‘he leaned over with a confidential air’
    • ‘In a way, their story is much more interesting for the deliberate air of mystique they cultivate.’
    • ‘Cameron, cast against type, has to subvert his usually dignified air to portray a crooked and downbeat wastrel.’
    • ‘If Roux carries with him an air of grandeur - and I do detect just a whiff - well, perhaps he can be forgiven for it.’
    • ‘A goatee instantly adds an air of distinguished maturity to one's appearance.’
    • ‘The painting lent an air of quality to the other items on the mantel, all inexpensive purchases.’
    • ‘Rather, the American industrial and technological scene is endowed with an air of epic grandeur.’
    • ‘An air of mystery surrounds plans being drawn up for a new road that will cut out the bad bends at the notorious Cononley Lane Ends.’
    • ‘There seems to be an air of unreality, as though the war were a million miles away.’
    • ‘More than anything else, this wretched film has about it an intense air of unreality.’
    • ‘A big crowd had come and there was a certain air of hope - even if at times it appeared a little forced.’
    • ‘The questions even became a shade less hostile as his new air of poise impressed the panel.’
    • ‘There's an air of calm about the place, an aura of tranquillity.’
    • ‘His malapropisms and good old boy manner give him the air of a simpleton, and yet he's not.’
    • ‘The reason was the absolute perfection of her appearance and her air of invincible superiority.’
    • ‘The whitewashed walls gave it an air of space and light, despite the lack of windows.’
    • ‘Their administrative overhaul and strong recruiting lent an air of excitement to the holiday sunshine.’
    • ‘He is about 41, with iron grey hair, round glasses, and a faint air of irony.’
    • ‘It added an air of eeriness and unreality to the situation that made Joe feel sick to the pit of his stomach.’
    • ‘For the moment though, an air of normality appeared to be returning to Istanbul.’
    • ‘A faint air of hopelessness overcomes McWhorter as our conversation winds down.’
    • ‘When they come through here on the way to Europe they have a gay, free, happy air.’
    expression, appearance, look, impression, aspect, manner, bearing, mien, countenance
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1airs An annoyingly affected and condescending manner.
      ‘he began to put on airs and think he could boss us around’
      • ‘She affects no artistic airs and harbours few highfalutin’ notions about the mystique or cultural sanctity of opera.’
      • ‘She is always the same whether you meet her at private dinner parties or big public occasions: she has absolutely no ' airs ' to her.’
      • ‘Next time you pick up the phone, ask yourself whether you tend to put on any artificial airs and start from there.’
      • ‘In any case, Byrne, who has been acting professionally since she was 13, isn't the type to put on airs.’
      • ‘Beth didn't put on airs, and she liked people who were the same way.’
      • ‘But she does not put on airs, as other girls do; she is quite natural and - though, I must admit, not my personal favourite - a lovely person.’
      • ‘Alice's sharp wit and blunt pronouncements could be intimidating, but if you didn't put on airs and weren't a fool, she was fiercely loyal and endlessly forgiving.’
      • ‘The main reason I feel this is that when you date, pretense and airs are, well, up in the air.’
      • ‘Rosalinda, who was also invited to Prince Orlofsky's party, arrives there, masked, affecting the airs of a Hungarian countess.’
      • ‘In other words, they - most of the people that are very successful in life - put on airs.’
      • ‘Lady Catherine is one of the main offenders, her airs, arrogance and pride are fuelled by other characters like Mr Collins.’
      • ‘He is the prince of a southern political family, but without unusual arrogance or over-the-top airs of entitlement.’
      • ‘I have not slept in a solid bed for three weeks, you haughty wench, and I'll not have your condescending airs and your reproachful glances!’
      • ‘But then again, he had never been one to put on airs.’
      • ‘There were no celeb airs about him.’
      • ‘Not for her the tendency to put on airs and throwing star tantrums.’
      • ‘She didn't seem to put on airs or act as if she was better then him.’
      affectation, pretentiousness, condescension, affectedness, pretension, elitism, snobbishness, arrogance, pride, haughtiness, airs, airs and graces, disdain, disdainfulness, superciliousness, exclusiveness
      View synonyms
  • 3Music
    A tune or short melodious composition, typically a song.

    • ‘Helena Bell gave a first class performance of Celtic airs and received a very warm applause.’
    • ‘The talented Dordan group has won widespread acclaim for their unique sound - a blend of lively traditional jigs and reels, haunting slow airs, traditional songs along with mazurkas, sonatinas and waltzes.’
    • ‘Expect to hear a varied repertoire of original tunes and airs along with a choice of songs by Irish singer-songwriters and composers arranged by this dynamic duo.’
    • ‘In the 17th century popular ballads were sung to the traditional airs; these were published in great numbers during the 18th century.’
    • ‘He also laments, though in milder terms, the old-world style of Bach's choruses and airs.’
    tune, melody, song, theme, strain, refrain, piece, aria
    View synonyms
  • 4A jump off the ground on a snowboard or skateboard.

    • ‘Brian Patch did body jars, backside airs, transfer lines and skated fast to 3rd place.’
    • ‘John was easily doing triple swith-ups and big airs out of the coping.’
    • ‘When it first opened, Pete would come in there and have the smoothest style and do the biggest airs.’
    • ‘I just learned backside airs, and I was trying to tweak them out.’
    • ‘I love to watch Richie ride; he's my fave, some style and clean airs.’


  • 1with object Express (an opinion or grievance) publicly.

    ‘a meeting in which long-standing grievances were aired’
    • ‘I firmly believe that everyone should have the right to air their grievances in court.’
    • ‘We could set up a public forum to discuss these issues and allow grievances to be aired.’
    • ‘People wanting to air their views about the scheme have until the end of April.’
    • ‘It is a new show that will give members of the public the chance to air their opinions on a range of hot topics.’
    • ‘Although the Government has set a time for people to air their views, will they really take any notice?’
    • ‘MPs have aired their concerns about police funding and Liberal Democrats have tabled a motion saying they are gravely concerned about the effect on front-line policing.’
    • ‘The idea that they should be prevented from airing their opinions appals me.’
    • ‘More than 100 people aired their views on what should happen to a two kilometre stretch of land along the River Wharfe.’
    • ‘The view was aired at a stormy community meeting in which householders living near the site were given information about the Heslington East proposals.’
    • ‘When an opportunity arises for people to air their views, it is a shame not to take it.’
    • ‘The public has a right to air their opinions about such an important decision.’
    • ‘We were not trying to reach any conclusion, it was more an opportunity for people to air their views.’
    • ‘Although the language used is different, the same grievances are being aired.’
    • ‘Complaints about young people drinking in the Millennium town Park were aired at last week's meeting of the Town Council.’
    • ‘Last week food experts aired their concerns about the amount of salt content in our food.’
    • ‘I do have strong opinions, although, of course, no easy solutions, but this is not the place to air those opinions.’
    • ‘There are those in this area who hate him, but are afraid to air their grievances publicly.’
    • ‘You certainly had a few Democrats airing their grievances!’
    • ‘It is has only been written for one reason, and one reason only, to air my opinion.’
    • ‘More than that, they tried to label those airing the concerns as being opposed to job creation, etc.’
    express, voice, make public, vent, ventilate, articulate, state, declare, give expression to, give voice to
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Broadcast (a program) on radio or television.
      ‘the programs were aired on India's state TV network’
      • ‘Highlights from the gig will be aired on Radio 1 across the week.’
      • ‘BTV aired an interview with a former member of the Russian Federal Service for Security.’
      • ‘NBC's "Nightly News" aired part of the interview Thursday.’
      • ‘This service was broadcast worldwide on the Internet and will be aired on television and/or radio in the near future.’
      • ‘Last week the BBC aired a television programme that contained evidence of a problem with drink and drug misuse among doctors in the United Kingdom.’
      • ‘Every day, Dominica's Broadcasting Corporation airs a radio programme exclusively about bananas, drawing an avid audience from all over this tiny Caribbean island.’
      • ‘Part 2 of ‘The Great Outdoors’ show shot at Hyner View State Park was aired last Sunday night on the local Fox station in Northeast, PA.’
      • ‘On Oct. 9, the pair will air TV ads touting the attraction.’
      • ‘However, since the World Cup started on May 31, he has not been enthusiastic about working, especially during the time when the matches are aired on television.’
      • ‘The television station kept airing exit polls, claiming that the party had scored a landslide victory in both the parliamentary and local elections.’
      • ‘The party airs its first election broadcast tonight.’
      • ‘New games are unlocked every Tuesday as each new episode is aired on television in this ever-expanding online treasure-trove.’
      • ‘Just like the Internet, radio stations will be able to monitor programmes being transmitted or aired by another radio station that is connected to the network.’
      • ‘Programme developers get the chance to see their programme commissioned and aired on Radio Five Live.’
      • ‘The event was aired on local BBC television, and the dam of emotion burst.’
      • ‘This was as a result of the recent ‘Secret Agent’ television programme aired last week on BBC one.’
      • ‘The new television campaign will be aired during top rated programmes and, according to Miller, will reach 90 per cent of all Irish adults.’
      • ‘The programme would be aired on the Amrita television channel, which is being launched soon.’
      • ‘A few years after the Allied victory, NBC television aired a remarkable documentary series.’
      • ‘Big Screen Birmingham airs the live event from the Royal Albert Hall.’
      broadcast, transmit, beam, put out, send out, televise, show, telecast, relay, put on the air, put on the airwaves, disseminate
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2archaic Parade or show (something) ostentatiously.
      ‘airing a snowy hand and signet ring’
      • ‘The extremely practical and funky knee length side zips with popper storm flaps allow ankles to be aired and calves exposed.’
      display, exhibit, make a show of, flaunt, show, show off, demonstrate, draw attention to
      View synonyms
  • 2British with object Expose (a room) to the open air in order to ventilate it.

    ‘the window sashes were lifted regularly to air the room’
    • ‘All windows are open to air the rooms and with only shutters to keep out little intruders the level of noise is unbearable.’
    • ‘I'm trying to air the house to get rid of the last traces of the petrol smell.’
    • ‘It may be wise to actually close this place now, so that you can air out this room properly before the start of the next season.’
    • ‘And these particular rooms were aired only for a barbarian envoy or a member of the merchant class.’
    • ‘Try to avoid foods that seem to trigger your symptoms; air rooms well so that cooking or tobacco smells don't build up.’
    • ‘It took me all of last night just to do my bedroom, and because I had to air the room after vacuuming, I had to sleep downstairs on the hard floor.’
    • ‘With no windows to open to air the place out, the only thing the Blues could do was import some industrial-sized fans to circulate the air.’
    • ‘He returned to the room to greet his guest, leaving the double doors open to air out the room.’
    ventilate, aerate, freshen, refresh, cool, air-condition
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1air oneselfarchaic Go out in the fresh air.


  • airs and graces

    • derogatory An affectation of superiority.

      • ‘There were no airs and graces about Hedley, he was a very gentle fella and it was an honour to have known him.’
      • ‘You've taken on a few airs and graces lately, haven't you Tim?’
      • ‘Demanding divas could take lessons from her easygoing nature; she may take her profession seriously but she harbours no personal airs and graces whatsoever.’
      • ‘He had no airs and graces and he was always interested in what you were saying.’
      • ‘Despite being raised the daughter of a brigadier, and despite stints at both the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre, there are no airs and graces to Juliet Stevenson.’
      • ‘He was at Man United but there's no airs and graces about Teddy.’
      • ‘At each prison, however, he has been accused of adopting unsuitable airs and graces, demanding - and receiving - what is perceived to be special treatment.’
      • ‘They don't try to put on airs and graces - they just say what they mean which is good.’
      • ‘But despite mingling with the stars, he has few airs and graces and regularly returns home to Lancaster to help in the family restaurant.’
      • ‘Brighton, for all its airs and graces, is a very provincial town, and I like it that way.’
      affectations, pretension, pretentiousness, affectedness, posing, posturing, pretence
      View synonyms
  • in the air

    • Noticeable all around; becoming prevalent.

      ‘I smell violence in the air’
      • ‘As soon as we got to Seattle there was a palpable tension in the air.’
      • ‘Change is also in the air for the farming industry at the bottom of the food chain.’
      • ‘It is a bit more honest, I suppose, but means that there is no real magic in the air.’
      • ‘It is still not quite the real thing but it is getting closer, you can smell it in the air.’
      • ‘You feel a certain wrongness in the air and the hairs on the back of your neck stand up as unseen eyes watch you.’
      • ‘It takes the band a couple of songs to hit their flow and as they do you can feel the change in the air.’
      • ‘At most of our shows there is just a good feeling in the air with people having a good time.’
      • ‘As the tower prepares to welcome the public again, there is a frisson of anxiety in the air.’
      • ‘If there was a clear sense of nervousness in the air, it was tangible on the ground.’
      • ‘Panic and terror could be smelt in the air and that sensation of worry clenched at his gut.’
      going on, happening, afoot, around, about, abroad, circulating, current, stirring, in circulation, at large, going about, in the wind
      View synonyms
  • on (or off) the air

    • Being (or not being) broadcast on radio or television.

      • ‘Ever wonder where those morning radio shows get all that wacky news they read on the air?’
      • ‘Ask the family for the photograph of the victim that they would most like to see in the paper or on the air.’
      • ‘RTE television was off the air completely during the day - not even a testcard was broadcast - just static.’
      • ‘What do you wish you could tell your viewers that you will never be able to tell them on the air?’
      • ‘Broadcast of the series was held up by a strike that took ITV off the air for over two months.’
      • ‘She looked upon them as her friends and as part of an inter-dependent team that put the station on the air.’
      • ‘My father was into acting on stage and was also on the air as a radio DJ.’
      • ‘As the station came on the air for the first time, its technicians walked out.’
      • ‘Let's just get all the disc jockeys off the air and let muzak fill the airwaves!’
      • ‘Radio stations were off the air because transformers were hit by lightning.’
  • take the air

    • Go out of doors.

      stroll, saunter, amble, wend one's way, trudge, plod, hike, tramp, trek, march, stride, troop, patrol, step out, wander, ramble, tread, prowl, footslog, promenade, roam, traipse
      View synonyms
  • up in the air

    • (of a plan or issue) still to be settled; unresolved.

      ‘the fate of the power station is up in the air’
      • ‘He's now in his final year of study and the future is still a bit up in the air.’
      • ‘It's still up in the air because the file folders in which we found them had no labels.’
      • ‘What happens beyond that or where it will take place is as up in the air as his plans in high school.’
      • ‘Its own future is in doubt at this point and sources suggest the situation is now totally up in the air.’
      • ‘Is there going to be resolution this week, or is it going to be left up in the air as it has been in the past?’
      • ‘It doesn't look good for the democrats at the moment, but it's still up in the air.’
      • ‘The future of the women's volleyball team is up in the air as it is the final season for many of the players.’
      • ‘Nothing was happening, the whole thing was up in the air and was a complete shambles.’
      • ‘As the company has just recently changed hands and still seems to be up in the air, I don't know who to contact about it.’
      • ‘At this stage his future is very much up in the air as is the possibility of him remaining a United player.’
      uncertain, unknown, undetermined, unsettled, unresolved, unsure, pending, in the balance, in limbo, in no man's land, debatable, open to question, in doubt
      View synonyms
  • walk (or tread) on air

    • Feel elated.

      • ‘But it wasn't anyone else, it was James and I was walking on air.’
      • ‘His dad told the Evening Press: ‘If you asked whether he was walking on air at the moment the answer would have to be yes!’’
      • ‘Mr Ahmed said: ‘I felt like a celebrity and I am still walking on air from everything that happened.’’
      • ‘Grant, who hails from Strensall, admitted he had been walking on air ever since he was told he was being called-up into the senior squad’
      • ‘Sara smiled back and walked on air as she left the room.’
      • ‘Kacey said: ‘I'm walking on air, I was so chuffed to receive the invitation and the kind words.’’
      • ‘Showing off their repertoire of skills in Roundhay Park, the unassuming brothers admitted they were walking on air.’
      • ‘He felt like he was walking on air when his winning number was called and he was handed a pair of autographed boots by the great man himself.’
      • ‘And he is now walking on air because he feels like he's gotten the attention of everybody in this country and that's important to him.’
      • ‘And all that day, and week and most of that year I felt I was walking on air, like the feeling you get when you're in love.’
      contented, content, cheerful, cheery, merry, joyful, jovial, jolly, joking, jocular, gleeful, carefree, untroubled, delighted, smiling, beaming, grinning, glowing, satisfied, gratified, buoyant, radiant, sunny, blithe, joyous, beatific, blessed
      View synonyms


Middle English (in air (sense 1 of the noun)): from Old French air, from Latin aer, from Greek aēr, denoting the gas. air (sense 2 of the noun) is from French air, probably from Old French aire ‘site, disposition’, from Latin ager, agr- ‘field’ (influenced by sense 1). air (sense 3 of the noun) comes from Italian aria (see aria).