Definition of pneumatic in English:

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Pronunciation: /n(y)o͞oˈmadik/


1Containing or operated by air or gas under pressure.
Example sentences
  • The pneumatic pump operated the mechanical heart and sustained Clark for 112 days.
  • Any pressurized bottle used for pneumatic operation must be filled with compressed air, nitrogen, or CO2.
  • In a procedure which began at seven o'clock in the morning and which lasted for a little under four hours, the 1,000 metric tonne roof was raised from inside the storage tank's structure using pneumatic pressure.
1.1 Zoology (Chiefly of cavities in the bones of birds) containing air.
Example sentences
  • Ornithologists have long sought to explain pneumatic bones in birds as an adaptation to some aspect of their lifestyle, such as the great benefit they offer for energy savings in flying.
  • A pneumatic dermal layer is present beneath the skin.
  • The bones were hollow and thin-walled, but also pneumatic: that is, they had openings in their walls that allowed air sacs from the respiratory system to enter the bones.
1.2 informal (Of a woman) having large breasts: Lee and his pneumatic wife
More example sentences
  • Doesn't anyone realise you can't turn a flat-chested woman into a pneumatic goddess by feeding her hamburgers?
  • I am, after all, five feet ten and a half inches, ten and a half stone, of brown-eyed, brunette, pneumatic woman.
  • She is lithe, athletic and anatomically lives up to expectations (although even she needed a special bra to look the part of the pneumatic heroine).
2Relating to the spirit.


(usually pneumatics)
An item of pneumatic equipment.
Example sentences
  • A whole new generation of pneumatics pre-charged with high pressure air metered from a scuba bottle or laboriously pumped up by hand are bringing us back to the designs of the 18th and 19th centuries.
  • Pre-charged pneumatics: These are similar in concept to pump-up pneumatics, but the compressed air is held in large (usually detachable) air bottles filled from a powerful air compressor or scuba tank.
  • At the end I lost time in my final stop as the mechanics topped up my engine's pneumatics, and without that I would easily have beaten him.



Pronunciation: /n(y)o͞oˈmadək(ə)lē/
Example sentences
  • A pneumatically operated ball valve controls the flow of liquid nitrogen through each lance, and the entire process is sequenced from a pushbutton control panel.
  • The first externally powered prosthetic limbs were built in Germany around 1915, although it was not until the 1950s that electrically and pneumatically powered devices appeared for general use.
  • Graphically, the game is now stunning, with superb character animation and great backgrounds - although some might object to the pneumatically proportioned women.


Pronunciation: /ˌn(y)o͞oməˈtisətē/


Mid 17th century: from French pneumatique or Latin pneumaticus, from Greek pneumatikos, from pneuma 'wind', from pnein 'breathe'.

  • This comes from Greek pneumatikos, from pneuma ‘wind’. Greek pnein ‘breathe’ is the base. Because the Greeks felt there was a strong association between breath and the soul the pneumatic is used in New Testament Greek to mean ‘spiritual’, and this is the sense first recorded in English. It came to be used for things inflated with air in the middle of the 19th century, and this opened the way to the development of pneumatic to describe a well-rounded female form. Rather surprisingly, T. S. Eliot is the first recorded user of this sense: ‘Uncorseted her friendly bust Gives promise of pneumatic bliss’ (Whispers of Immortality 1919).

Words that rhyme with pneumatic

achromatic, acrobatic, Adriatic, aerobatic, anagrammatic, aquatic, aristocratic, aromatic, asthmatic, athematic, attic, autocratic, automatic, axiomatic, bureaucratic, charismatic, chromatic, cinematic, climatic, dalmatic, democratic, diagrammatic, diaphragmatic, diplomatic, dogmatic, dramatic, ecstatic, emblematic, emphatic, enigmatic, epigrammatic, erratic, fanatic, hepatic, hieratic, hydrostatic, hypostatic, idiomatic, idiosyncratic, isochromatic, lymphatic, melodramatic, meritocratic, miasmatic, monochromatic, monocratic, monogrammatic, numismatic, operatic, panchromatic, pancreatic, paradigmatic, phlegmatic, photostatic, piratic, plutocratic, polychromatic, pragmatic, prelatic, prismatic, problematic, programmatic, psychosomatic, quadratic, rheumatic, schematic, schismatic, sciatic, semi-automatic, Socratic, somatic, static, stigmatic, sub-aquatic, sylvatic, symptomatic, systematic, technocratic, thematic, theocratic, thermostatic, traumatic

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pneu·mat·ic

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