Air vs Whether - What's the difference?

air | whether |

As a noun air

is .

As a pronoun whether is

(obsolete) which of two.

As a conjunction whether is





  • (uncountable, historical, astrology, alchemy, science) The atmospheric substance above the surface of the earth which animals breathe, formerly considered to be a single substance, one of the four basic elements of ancient philosophy and one of the five basic elements of Eastern traditions.
  • (uncountable, physics, meteorology) That substance, now understood as the mixture of gases comprising the earth's atmosphere.
  • (usually, with the) The apparently open space above the ground; the mass of this substance around the earth.
  • A breeze; a gentle wind.
  • A feeling or sense.
  • * November 2 2014 , Daniel Taylor, " Sergio Agüero strike wins derby for Manchester City against 10-man United,"
  • Smalling’s quick one-two of yellow cards towards the end of the first half had left an air of inevitability about what would follow and, if anything, it was probably a surprise that City restricted themselves to Sergio Agüero’s goal bearing in mind another of United’s defenders, Marcos Rojo, was taken off on a stretcher early in the second half with a dislocated shoulder.
  • * 1900 , , (The House Behind the Cedars) , Chapter I,
  • The girl stooped to pluck a rose, and as she bent over it, her profile was clearly outlined. She held the flower to her face with a long-drawn inhalation, then went up the steps, crossed the piazza, opened the door without knocking, and entered the house with the air of one thoroughly at home.
  • A sense of poise, graciousness, or quality.
  • * 1815 , (Jane Austen), (Emma) , :
  • "He is very plain, undoubtedly--remarkably plain:--but that is nothing compared with his entire want of gentility. I had no right to expect much, and I did not expect much; but I had no idea that he could be so very clownish, so totally without air . I had imagined him, I confess, a degree or two nearer gentility."
  • (usually plural) Pretension]]; [[snobby, snobbishness; pretence that one is better than others.
  • * {{quote-book, year=1922, author=(Ben Travers), title=(A Cuckoo in the Nest)
  • , chapter=1 citation , passage=He read the letter aloud. Sophia listened with the studied air of one for whom, even in these days, a title possessed some surreptitious allurement.}}
  • (music) A song, especially a solo; an aria.
  • * 1813 , (Jane Austen), (Pride and Prejudice) , :
  • "If I," said Mr. Collins, "were so fortunate as to be able to sing, I should have great pleasure, I am sure, in obliging the company with an air ; for I consider music as a very innocent diversion, and perfectly compatible with the profession of a clergyman"
  • (informal) Nothing; absence of anything.
  • An air conditioner or the processed air it produces. Can be a mass noun or a count noun depending on context; similar to hair .
  • (obsolete, chemistry) Any specific gas.
  • (snowboarding, skateboarding, motor sports) A jump in which one becomes airborne.
  • Synonyms

    * * atmosphere * aura * nimbus

    Derived terms

    * airbag * air base * air bed * airborne * air bounce * airbrake * airbrush * air bubble * airbus * air cargo * air carrier * air chamber * Air Chief Marshal * air cleaner * Air Commodore * air compressor * air-conditioned * air-conditioner * air-conditioning * air-cooled * air corridor * aircraft * aircrew * air cushion * air display * airdrome * airdrop * air duct * airfield * air flow * air force * airframe * air freight * air freshener * air guitar * airgun * air hole * air hostess * airing cupboard * air intake * air lane * airless * air letter * airlift * airline * airliner * airlock * airmail * airman * Air Marshal * air mattress * air navigation * air out * airplane * air pocket * airport * air pressure * air pump * air purifier * air quotes * air raid * air rifle * airscrew * air-sea rescue * air shaft * airshed * airship * air show * airsick * airsickness * air sign * airspace * airspeed * airstrike * airstrip * airsuit * air support * airtaxi * air terminal * airtight * air time * air-to-air * air-to-ground * air-to-surface * air traffic control * air traffic controller * air vent * Air Vice Marshal * airwaves * airway * airwoman * airworthiness * airworthy * airy * alkaline air * breath of fresh air * build castles in the air * catch air * castle in the air * clear the air * dead air * dephlogisticated air * fire air * fixed air * fluoro acid air * fresh air * get some air / take some air * give oneself airs * hepatic air * hot air * inflammable air * in the air * into thin air * mid-air * mephitic air * nitrous air * on air * on the air * phlogisticated air * pure air * put on airs * too many balls in the air * up in the air * vital air * vitriolic acid air (air)


    (en verb)
  • To bring (something) into contact with the air, so as to freshen or dry it.
  • To let fresh air into a room or a building, to ventilate.
  • It's getting quite stuffy in this room: let's open the windows and air it.
  • To discuss varying viewpoints on a given topic.
  • * 1917 , National Geographic , :
  • Thus, in spite of all opposition, the rural and urban assemblies retained the germ of local government, and in spite of the dual control, as the result of which much of their influence was nullified, they did have a certain value in airing abuses and suggesting improvements.
  • To broadcast, as with a television show.
  • Statistics





    (English Pronouns)
  • (obsolete) Which of two.
  • * 1526 , William Tyndale, trans. Bible , Matthew XXVII:
  • The debite answered and sayde unto them: whether of the twayne will ye that I lett loosse unto you?
  • * Bible, Matthew xxi. 31
  • Whether of them twain did the will of his father?


    (English Conjunctions)
  • (lb)
  • *1526 , (William Tyndale), trans. Bible , Mark II:
  • *:whether ys it easyer to saye to the sicke of the palsey, thy synnes ar forgeven the: or to saye, aryse, take uppe thy beed and walke?
  • *1616 , (William Shakespeare), (King John) , I.i:
  • *:Whether hadst thou rather be a Faulconbridge, [...] Or the reputed sonne of Cordelion?
  • .
  • :
  • *
  • *:As a political system democracy seems to me extraordinarily foolish,I do not suppose that it matters much in reality whether laws are made by dukes or cornerboys, but I like, as far as possible, to associate with gentlemen in private life.
  • *{{quote-news, year=2012, date=June 19, author=Phil McNulty, work=BBC Sport
  • , title= England 1-0 Ukraine , passage=The incident immediately revived the debate about goal-line technology, with a final decision on whether it is introduced expected to be taken in Zurich on 5 July.}}
  • *{{quote-magazine, date=2013-07-20, volume=408, issue=8845, magazine=(The Economist)
  • , title= Old soldiers? , passage=Whether modern, industrial man is less or more warlike than his hunter-gatherer ancestors is impossible to determine. The machine gun is so much more lethal than the bow and arrow that comparisons are meaningless. One thing that is true, though, is that murder rates have fallen over the centuries, as policing has spread and the routine carrying of weapons has diminished.}}
  • ; if, whether or not.
  • :
  • :
  • Usage notes

    * There is some overlap in usage between senses 2 and 3, in that a yes-or-no interrogative content clause can list the two possibilities explicitly in a number of ways:
    Do you know whether he's coming or staying?''
    ''Do you know whether he's coming or not?''
    ''Do you know whether or not he's coming?''
    Further, in the first two of these examples, the "or staying" and "or not" may be added as an afterthought (sometimes indicated in writing with a comma before), such that the ''whether may be uttered in sense 3 and then amended to sense 2. * Sense 4 does not have a counterpart that introduces only a single possibility; *"He's coming, whether you like it" is ungrammatical. * In traditional grammar, the clauses headed by whether'' in senses 2 and 3 are classified as noun clauses, and those headed by ''whether in sense 4 are classified as adverb clauses.