Definition of gas in US English:

gas

noun

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

    ‘hot balls of gas that become stars’
    ‘poisonous gases’
    • ‘These gasses are heavier than air and offer better insulation.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Sea turtle lungs are adapted to permit a rapid exchange of oxygen and to prevent the formation of gasses during deep dives.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The treaty gives industrialized nations eight years to cut their collective emissions of six key greenhouse gasses.’
    • ‘Because the atmosphere includes greenhouse gasses, solar warming and greenhouse warming are related.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Boyle's Law is a statement of the relationship between the pressure and volume of gasses.’
    • ‘It's difficult to separate natural variability from greenhouse gasses.’
    • ‘Chris had his committed cluster hunters searched for X-rays, the telltale signs of the incredibly hot gasses in a galaxy cluster.’
    • ‘More than likely you will see a straight line cut into it from hot gasses escaping from the barrel/cylinder gap.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Burning rubbish - plastics, treated wood, and old chemical containers release poisonous gasses when they are burnt.’
    • ‘Due to its electric drive, it is completely independent from the turbocharger and the thermal energy of the exhaust gasses.’
    • ‘He looked over his shoulder at the source of the transmission, only to see a rapidly expanding ball of gasses and wreckage.’
    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 vapor
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Nitrogen dioxide is a brown gas, transformed from nitric oxide contained in emissions.’
      • ‘Carbon dioxide gas is heavier than oxygen, so it displaces the oxygen surrounding the burning fuel.’
      • ‘Free oxygen was released when ultraviolet light hit carbon monoxide gas.’
      • ‘The simplest sources are hydrogen-rich compounds like hydrogen gas, hydrogen sulfide gas and hydrocarbons.’
      chat, talk, conversation, chatter, heart-to-heart, tête-à-tête, powwow, blether, blather
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    2. 1.2 A flammable gas used as a fuel.
      • ‘Gas and diesel convergence: to fend off fuel cells, gas and diesel engine experts are swapping efficiency secrets’
      • ‘It needs expensive or scarce fuel, such as gas or wood, to heat it and experience to run it.’
      • ‘Furthermore, the availability of a major source of gas in south-west Wales could potentially attract other industries which need gas as a fuel.’
      • ‘Most were put in a pile, doused with gas and fuel oil, and set afire.’
      • ‘The tax will apply to coal, gas, petrol, diesel and other fuels.’
      • ‘The country is relatively rich in mineral resources but, unlike Russia, is underendowed in fuels such as gas, oil, and coal.’
      • ‘As mentioned before, water can wind up in your gas or diesel fuel as a result of condensation in the tank.’
      • ‘Another cylinder of gas is required to fuel the single ring burner used to boil the kettle.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We have to drastically reduce the burning of fossil fuels, coal, oil and gas, so we need more wind farms to produce cleaner electricity.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It's like the difference between rocket fuel and cheap gas.’
      • ‘The booming economy is also enticing new industries into the country and encouraging existing businesses to expand, fuelling further demands for gas.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Cheaper gas and fuel will give households more money to spend on other items.’
      • ‘Along with other fossil fuels like coal and gas.’
      • ‘The engines are fuelled by liquid petroleum gas, which means that there is no risk of a fire breaking out.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Hydrogen can either be generated by wind or solar energy, or by using fossil fuels such as gas.’
    3. 1.3 A gaseous anesthetic such as nitrous oxide, used in dentistry.
      • ‘He compared being so short of hand towels to running out of anaesthetic gas during an operation.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Nowadays, general anaesthesia is seldom administered via a mask and anaesthetic gas or vapour.’
      • ‘This form of anesthesia was easily controlled by stopping the gas, and the patient would revive quickly.’
      • ‘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.’
    4. 1.4 Gas or vapor used as a poisonous agent to kill or disable an enemy in warfare.
      • ‘CS gas grenades were originally made like smoke grenades, with the CS irritant being emitted through apertures in the top.’
      • ‘Whether or not gas will be employed in future wars is a matter of conjecture.’
      • ‘This year is the 90th anniversary of the invention of modern gas warfare.’
      • ‘According to radio reports military police used pepper gas spray to overpower him, but that could not be officially confirmed.’
      • ‘Machine-guns, gas, high explosives, flame-throwers and air attacks slaughtered the lines of men marching out of the trenches.’
      • ‘He made a specialty of chemical and gas warfare and minefields and his war caused a million deaths.’
      • ‘The name was a hangover from the First World War, when the larger mortars were employed to lay down smoke or gas.’
      • ‘In 1992, 43 tons of chlorine gas were released in Henderson, Nevada, causing distress to hundreds of people.’
      • ‘Videos from his collection, showing dogs being killed by poisonous gas or a nerve agent, were recently aired on CNN.’
      • ‘Instantaneous fuses and gas or smoke shells made possible heavy and lethal barrages that did not make ground impassable to assaulting infantry.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The use of the gas in warfare is banned under international chemical weapons treaties.’
      • ‘Think of the urine soaked handkerchiefs used by Canadian soldiers in The Great War to repel the effects of German poison gases.’
      • ‘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.’
      fumes, exhaust, vapour
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    5. 1.5North American Gas generated in the alimentary canal; flatulence.
      • ‘A colicky baby more likely has gas because of the colic.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘To avoid problems with gas, add high-fiber foods to your diet slowly.’
      • ‘Her last bowel movement had occurred 3 days previously, and she had not passed any gas for more than 24 hours.’
      • ‘Supine and upright abdominal radiographs with stepladder pattern of air-fluid levels and no colonic gas are suggestive of obstruction.’
      • ‘Dosing is limited by gastrointestinal side effects of gas, bloating, and constipation.’
      • ‘This almost involuntary practice relieves the symptom but it also produces gas and bloating.’
      • ‘An increase in abdominal gas may be due to three complications.’
      • ‘This slows down your digestion and can cause gas to build up.’
      • ‘Intestinal gas is typically caused by the fermentation of undigested food, such as plant fiber, in the colon.’
      • ‘Notably, the peritoneal cavity was dry and was not distended with gas.’
      • ‘Some people get a lot of gas from foods that don't bother others.’
      • ‘For general bloating and gas, over-the-counter products containing simethicone can help.’
      • ‘A chest and abdominal film from the first day of life demonstrated the ectopia cordis and a paucity of bowel gas in the abdomen.’
      • ‘In this patient you do see gas in the distal bowel.’
      • ‘However, although painful abdominal gas may contribute to colic, there is little evidence to prove it's due to gastrointestinal problems.’
      • ‘The most commonly reported side effects are gas, constipation, stomach pain, and indigestion.’
      • ‘Digestion of beans and other complex carbohydrates requires gas-producing bacteria, leading to increased gas.’
      • ‘Oral cholecystography is used when patients are obese and have a large amount of overlying bowel gas which makes ultrasonography more difficult.’
      • ‘You may feel bloated or have gas for a few hours after the exam.’
      intestinal gas, wind
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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

    short for gasoline
    • ‘The Jeep started to tip backward and he gave it more gas which caused it to flip over.’
    • ‘Before a trip out of town, I stopped for gas at the Shell station on Angell Street.’
    • ‘When the team stopped for gas, their vans were filled up with unleaded instead of diesel gasoline.’
    • ‘On the way home, we stopped for some gas and lottery tickets.’
    • ‘But we guessed correctly, and turning lights on, stopping only for gas, drove east.’
    • ‘His father owns a roadside store, a popular stop for gas and takeout.’
    • ‘When I stopped for gas, it wasn't uncommon for me to grab a bag of chips, a soda and some candy, too.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Sure, we made a couple stops for gas, food, and nature calls, but I really didn't expect to get here so late.’
    • ‘The Turkish move to stop buying gas altogether paid off and Iran finally agreed to decrease the prices.’
    • ‘I had to stop in Jamestown for gas and that is where I realized I didn't have my house keys.’
    • ‘So the manager says if the price of gas goes above that, he's going to have to stop selling gas.’
    • ‘But we do know she encountered them in her attempt to stop and get gas.’
    • ‘She drove, making two stops for gas on the way home to Sager's Creek.’
    • ‘We were stopping for gas beyond the edge of town and spotted some Arundo growing on a knoll behind the filling station.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Now I know it's surprising to see a different gas price every time you stop at a Texonobil.’
    • ‘Sometimes Bud stops to get gas, and this always feels like a momentous occasion.’
    • ‘We were waiting on a retro pick-up and stopped for gas aboard a nearby ship.’
    1. 2.1 Used in reference to power or the accelerator of an automobile.
      ‘I ordered my friend to step on the gas’
      • ‘His ‘Baby Boy’ discovery, Tyrese, steps on the gas and leaves former star Diesel in the dust.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As soon as she was out of the car, Ray stepped on the gas and shot forward, trying to run over my grandmother.’
      • ‘But there also are consequences for signaling to criminals that they can escape by just stepping on the gas.’
  • 3a gasinformal A person or thing that is entertaining or amusing.

    ‘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.’
    laugh
    wit, hoot, comedian, comic, entertainer, joker, clown, buffoon
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verb

[with object]
  • 1Kill or harm by exposure to poisonous gas.

    • ‘In other words, it cannot gas enemy soldiers, but it reserves the right to gas prisoners and civilians!’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There were camps built to exterminate them; most were gassed, but some were shot, drowned, or starved to death.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is the most humane method as opposed to shooting or gassing the fox.’
    • ‘One soldier was gassed by him when he attacked them.’
    • ‘The latter were sent to special institutions at Grafeneck, Hadamar, Bernburg, Brandenburg, Sonnenstein, and Hartheim where they were gassed.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘So the first prisoners to be gassed are transported back to the ‘old Reich’ in Germany to be murdered.’
    • ‘As one character says here, with desperate weariness: ‘We electrocuted him, gassed him, put him in front of a firing squad.’’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She had to listen helplessly for an hour as her sons were gassed in the back of a car by her estranged husband.’
    • ‘After the uprising, 7,000 people were gassed in extermination camps, while 30,000 were shot there.’
    • ‘They are in Britain because their families were gassed and murdered by his regime.’
    • ‘When animals are killed on fur farms they are gassed or beaten and many of them are alive when they are skinned.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    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
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    1. 1.1no object (of a storage battery or dry cell) give off gas.
      • ‘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, especially excessively, idly, or boastfully.

    ‘I thought you'd never stop gassing’
    • ‘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’.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    talk, gossip, chatter, chitter-chatter, speak, converse, have a conversation, engage in conversation, tittle-tattle, prattle, jabber, jibber-jabber, babble, prate, go on, run on
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  • 3North American informal Fill the tank of (an engine or motor vehicle) with gasoline.

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

Phrases

  • run out of gas

    • informal Run out of energy; lose momentum.

      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘The pop craze over the Kabbalah Centre may have passed and despite the group's energy drink, it may be running out of gas.’
      • ‘Now that the yield curve has ‘lost its curve’, this profit engine has run 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And then his campaign ran out of gas - out of money, out of time, out of campaign workers, volunteers, bumper stickers, you name it.’
      • ‘Most people who fail wind up failing just because they just 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.’

Origin

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.

Pronunciation

gas

/ɡæs//ɡas/