One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
By means of radio or television broadcast; (now frequently) specifically by the transmission of radio signals broadcast through the earth's atmosphere (as distinct from cable transmission); over the airwaves.
Usually with hyphens. Of, involving, or by means of radio or television broadcasting, especially as distinct from cable transmission.
1920s. From over + the + air. Compare slightly later on the air.
over the air/ˌəʊvə ðɪ ˈɛː/
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