A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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View Scan · View Transcription · from page 105

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 105

A'iry. adj. [from air; aëreus, Lat.]

  1. Composed of air.

    The first is the transmission, or emission, of the thinner and more airy parts of bodies; as, in odours and infections: and this is, of all the rest, the most corporeal. Bacon.

  2. Relating to the air; belonging to the air.

    There are fishes that have wings, that are not strangers to the airy region. Boyle.

  3. High in air.

    Whole rivers here forsake the fields below,
    And, wond'ring at their height, through airy channels flow.

  4. Light as air; thin; unsubstantial; without solidity.

    I hold ambition of so airy and light a quality, that it is but a shadow's shadow. Shakesp. Hamlet.

    Sill may the dog the wand'ring troops constrain
    Of airy ghosts, and vex the guilty train;
    And, with her gristly lord, his lovely queen remain.
    Dr. Æn.

  5. Without reality; without any steady foundation in truth or nature; vain; trifling.

                      Nor think with wind
    Of airy threats to awe whom yet with deeds
    Thou can'st not.
    Milton's Paradise Lost, b. vi.

    Nor (to avoid such meanness) soaring high,
    With empty sound, and airy notions, fly.

    I have found a complaint concerning the scarcity of money, which occasioned many airy propositions for the remedy of it. Temple's Miscellanies.

  6. Fluttering; loose; as if to catch the air; full of levity.

    But the epick poem is too stately to receive those little ornaments. The painters draw their nymphs in thin and airy habits; but the weight of gold and of embroderies is reserved for queens and goddesses. Dryd. Æneid, Dedicat.

    By this name of ladies, he means all young persons, slender, finely shaped, airy, and delicate: such as are nymphs and Naïads. Dryden's Dufresnoy.

  7. Gay; sprightly; full of mirth; vivacious; lively; spirited; light of heart.

    He that is merry and airy at shore, when he sees a sad and a loud tempest on the sea, or dances briskly when God thunders from heaven, regards not when God speaks to all the world. Taylor's rule of living holy.

Sources: Addison, Joseph (408) · Bacon, Francis (396) · Boyle, Robert (84) · Dillon, Wentworth (Roscommon) (31) · Dryden, John (788) · Shakespeare's Hamlet (60) · Milton, John (449) · Taylor, Jeremy (57) · Temple, William (54)

Attributes: Adjective (426) · Latin (690)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Airy." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: January 25, 2014. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/airy/.

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