Definition of aqualung in US English:


(also Aqua-Lung)


  • A portable breathing apparatus for divers, consisting of cylinders of compressed air strapped on the diver's back, feeding air automatically through a mask or mouthpiece.

    • ‘It was here, some half-century ago, that he first experimented with the aqualung, and since then many have followed in his wake to experience their first breath under water.’
    • ‘This could be a serious curtailment to our subterranean activities, there is talk of duck boards, bilge pumps, aqualungs and horizontal drainage tunnels.’
    • ‘Since that time most of the countries bordering the Mediterranean have made spearfishing with the aid of aqualungs illegal.’
    • ‘Their aqualungs must have been unusual then in Northern Australia.’
    • ‘The aqualung opened the underwater world to diving adventurers in the 1940s.’
    • ‘These dolphins and other cetaceans don't like divers' bubbles, which is why we had to leave our aqualungs on the boat and snorkel.’
    • ‘There is also an undersea walk, which you do without an aqualung, by wearing a heavy glass and metal contraption like a Dickensian carriage lamp over your head, which makes you sink to the seabed.’
    • ‘The invention of the aqualung had removed the single most daunting barrier to man's conquest of the planet.’
    • ‘He was said to have made £35m alone from jointly inventing the aqualung in 1943, but more valuable was his legacy of undersea research and exploration and his love of the ‘water planet’.’
    • ‘The modus operandi, they said, was for divers with aqualungs to collect perlemoen which they then took ashore at dusk in sacks and left in a hideout in the bush and dunes.’
    • ‘We have invented snorkels, aqualungs and diving bells to allow us brief sojourns into the watery world, but insects have perfected these and other techniques millions of years ago so as to live an almost totally aquatic way of life.’
    • ‘I like the flexibility an aqualung offers to get slightly lower camera angles, though I have to be very careful with my buoyancy control to avoid stirring up silt.’
    • ‘If I went, and I would, I'd want the full suit, with an aqualung and a parachute.’
    • ‘His conversations with these eclectic figures within scuba diving's short history (the aqualung was only invented 60 years ago) are entwined with his own memories of particular dives in different parts of the world.’
    • ‘She pulled out the mouthpiece of her aqualung, briefly, and shouted his name into the water.’
    • ‘All would seem to have ended well, but I must act before this new underwater procedure of tying your aqualung down spreads into other waters.’
    • ‘While the kids grabbed blocks, he rummaged in a locker behind the pipe and pulled out a sort of aqualung, some rubber gloves, and swim fins.’
    • ‘So it seems only right and proper to squirm into a drysuit, don an aqualung and slip through a dark, forbidding hole in the frozen waters at Tignes-Le-Lac to avoid the blizzard conditions.’
    • ‘The BSAC Code of Conduct merely says: ‘Never use a speargun with an aqualung.’’
    • ‘Now the jetty of the Dive Centre within the complex marks the limit of Egyptian territory, and woe betide anyone who thinks they might meander northwards equipped with aqualung and fins.’


[no object]dated
  • Swim underwater using an aqualung.

    ‘you oughtn't to aqualung by yourself’
    • ‘If the water flows into the room, grab the tanks and get aqualunging.’


1950s (originally a proprietary name in the US): from Latin aqua ‘water’ + lung.