airy (adj.) late 14c., "of the air, made of air," from AIR (Cf. air) (n.1) + -Y (Cf. -y) (2). Meaning "breezy" is attested from 1590s; that of "lively" is from 1640s. Sense of "vain, unsubstantial" is from 1580s. Disparaging airy-fairy is attested from 1920 (earlier in a sense of "delicate or light as a fairy," which is how Tennyson used it in 1830).

Etymology dictionary. 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Airy — Air y, a. 1. Consisting of air; as, an airy substance; the airy parts of bodies. [1913 Webster] 2. Relating or belonging to air; high in air; a[ e]rial; as, an airy flight. The airy region. Milton. [1913 Webster] 3. Open to a free current of air; …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Airy — may refer to:*Sir George Biddell Airy, British astronomer who is the eponym of craters located on the Moon and Mars * Airy (lunar crater) * Airy (crater on Mars), the smaller crater Airy 0 within Airy defines the prime meridian of the planet *… …   Wikipedia

  • Airy — steht für: ein Airy Scheibchen, eine andere Bezeichnung für ein Beugungsscheibchen ein Krater auf dem Mars, siehe Airy (Marskrater) eine Formel für elektromagnetische Strahlung, Airy Formel eine spezielle Funktion der Mathematik, Airy Funktion… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Airy-0 — est un cratère d impact de Mars qui définit la position du premier méridien sur cette planète. Il est situé en bordure orientale du plateau de Meridiani Planum dans la partie méridionale d Arabia Terra, par …   Wikipédia en Français

  • airy — airy, aerial, ethereal can all mean as light and insubstantial as air. Airy seldom suggests a transcendent quality; in its widest sense it implies little more than immateriality {the poet’s pen . . . gives to airy nothing a local habitation and a …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • AIRY (G. B.) — AIRY sir GEORGE BIDDELL (1801 1892) Fils aîné de William Airy, il entre, à l’âge de dix ans, au Byatt Walker’s School (Colchester), où il se fait remarquer pour son habileté manuelle. Entré au Trinity College (Cambridge, G. B.) en 1819, il en… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • airy — [adj1] open to the atmosphere aerial, atmospheric, blowy, breezy, drafty, exposed, fluttering, fresh, gaseous, gusty, light, lofty, out of doors, uncluttered, vaporous, ventilated, well ventilated, windy; concept 583 Ant. close, closed,… …   New thesaurus

  • Airy — (spr. ǟrĭ), Sir George Biddell, Astronom, geb. 27. Juli 1801 zu Alnwick in Northumberland, gest. 4. Jan. 1892 in London, studierte in Cambridge, wurde 1828 Professor und Direktor der Sternwarte daselbst und war 1836–81 Direktor der Sternwarte in… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Airy — Airy, G. B., Professor der Astronomie u. Director der Sternwarte zu Greenwich 1830 Nachfolger von Pond. Er schr.: Gravitation, an elementary Explanation of the principal Perturbations in the Solarsystem, Land. 1834 (deutsch von Littrow, Stuttg.… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Airy — (spr. ehri), Sir George Biddell, engl. Astronom, geb. 27. Juli 1801 zu Alnwick in Northumberland, 1836 81 Direktor der Sternwarte zu Greenwich, gest. 4. Jan. 1892 zu London. »Autobiography« (1896) …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

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