Definition of vapor in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈvāpər/
(British vapour)


1A substance diffused or suspended in the air, especially one normally liquid or solid: dense clouds of smoke and toxic vapor chemical vapors
More example sentences
  • Air rising to pass over the mountains cools and the water vapour condenses into cloud, rain and, if it is cold enough, snow.
  • As water vapor condenses in the air each night, grass, plants and cars are covered by morning with a thin layer of water.
  • As the warm air rises the water vapor in it condenses into clouds that can produce rain, snow, sleet or freezing rain, often all four.
haze, mist, steam, condensation, moisture;
fumes, exhalation, fog, smog, smoke
1.1 Physics A gaseous substance that is below its critical temperature, and can therefore be liquefied by pressure alone. Compare with gas.
Example sentences
  • A vapor is the gaseous phase of a substance that, under ordinary conditions, exists as a liquid or solid.
  • A gas is distinguished from a vapor in that a gas is above the critical point at which the liquid boils.
  • What results is a super-saturated vapour, which cools to near ambient temperatures in a few milliseconds and condenses into the aerosol particles that make up the smoke.
1.2 (the vapors) dated A sudden feeling of faintness or nervousness or a state of depression.
Example sentences
  • ‘If you have ever got the vapours when your teenager has stood beside your fixed-line phone making an expensive mobile call, then this addresses the problem,’ he said.
  • I think I d have loved to be alive in an era of elegance and old-fashioned manners where ladies had attacks of the vapours and the gentlemen were just that - gentlemen.
  • She sat at the table, legs propped up on the table in a manner that would give ladies in the finer centres of Europe a case of the vapours.


[no object]
Talk in a vacuous, boasting, or pompous way: he was vaporing on about the days of his youth
More example sentences
  • Beckford later claimed that he suggested to Mozart one of the best-known tunes in The Marriage of Figaro: he may have been ‘vapouring’ like his father.
  • Neither of these vaporings has the remotest basis in the actual Constitution.
  • Their coverage was dominated by the self-important vapourings of a stream of politicians.



( archaic)
Example sentences
  • Ghost apparitions almost always appear in a white vaporish form with a decidedly human appearance.
  • Her heart lurched as she caught sight of a ship, hidden in a vapourish haze, emerging around the headland.
  • He can't always see more than a corner of the room - it appears vapourish and shadowy.


Pronunciation: /ˈvāp(ə)rəs/
Example sentences
  • The morning sun was hazy, filtering first through low winter clouds, then through the bedroom window blinds, filling the room with a tepid, vaporous half-light.
  • Her vision was blurred, but she could faintly see the vaporous cloud hovering above her.
  • For a long moment, the woman simply stared straight at them, unmoving, slowly inhaling the excess smoke from her dwindling cigarette, the smoke entwining her features like a vaporous cloud of fog on a snowy evening.


Pronunciation: /ˈvāpərəsnəs/
Example sentences
  • A cloud, a sort of vaporousness, redolent with fresh acrid sweat on top of powerful stale sweat, hung thickly about me.


Pronunciation: /ˈvāpərē/
Example sentences
  • Thomas Logan referred to the sometimes ‘vapory condition of the atmosphere,’ which he associated with the tropics.
  • The cattle lay quietly ruminating in the fields, their breath floating round them in a vapoury veil.
  • As far as my eye could reach, corn-fields, corn-fields, dwindling away towards the horizon in a vapoury line.


Late Middle English: from Old French vapour, or from Latin vapor 'steam, heat'. The current verb sense dates from the early 17th century.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: va·por

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