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EnglishEdit

 
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EtymologyEdit

From Middle English vapour, from Anglo-Norman vapour, Old French vapor, from Latin vapor (steam, heat).

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

vapour (countable and uncountable, plural vapours)

  1. Cloudy diffused matter such as mist, steam or fumes suspended in the air.
    • 1892, James Yoxall, chapter 5, in The Lonely Pyramid:
      The desert storm was riding in its strength; the travellers lay beneath the mastery of the fell simoom. [] Drifts of yellow vapour, fiery, parching, stinging, filled the air.
  2. The gaseous state of a substance that is normally a solid or liquid.
  3. (obsolete) Wind; flatulence.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Francis Bacon to this entry?)
  4. Something unsubstantial, fleeting, or transitory; unreal fancy; vain imagination; idle talk; boasting.
    • Bible, James iv. 14
      For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
  5. (archaic) Hypochondria; melancholy; the blues; hysteria, or other nervous disorder.
  6. (dated) Any medicinal agent designed for administration in the form of inhaled vapour.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Brit. Pharm to this entry?)

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

See alsoEdit

VerbEdit

vapour (third-person singular simple present vapours, present participle vapouring, simple past and past participle vapoured)

  1. (intransitive) To become vapour; to be emitted or circulated as vapour.
  2. (transitive) To turn into vapour.
    to vapour away a heated fluid
    • Ben Jonson
      He'd laugh to see one throw his heart away, / Another, sighing, vapour forth his soul.
  3. (intransitive) To use insubstantial language; to boast or bluster.
    • 1888, Rudyard Kipling, ‘The Bisara of Pooree’, Plain Tales from the Hills, Folio Society 2005, p. 172:
      He vapoured, and fretted, and fumed, and trotted up and down, and tried to make himself pleasing in Miss Hollis's big, quiet, grey eyes, and failed.
    • 1904, “Saki”, ‘Reginald's Christmas Revel’, Reginald:
      then the Major gave us a graphic account of a struggle he had with a wounded bear. I privately wished that the bears would win sometimes on these occasions; at least they wouldn't go vapouring about it afterwards.
    • 1978, Lawrence Durrell, Livia, Faber & Faber 1992 (Avignon Quintet), p. 513:
      He felt he would start vapouring with devotion if this went on, so he bruptly took his leave with a cold expression on his face which dismayed her for she thought that it was due to distain for her artistic opinions.
  4. To emit vapour or fumes.
    • Francis Bacon
      Running waters vapour not so much as standing waters.

TranslationsEdit

VerbEdit

vapour (third-person singular simple present vapours, present participle vapouring, simple past and past participle vapoured)

  1. (intransitive) To become vapour; to be emitted or circulated as vapour.
  2. (transitive) To turn into vapour.
  3. (intransitive) To use insubstantial language; to boast or bluster.
    • 1888, Rudyard Kipling, ‘The Bisara of Pooree’, Plain Tales from the Hills, Folio Society 2005, p. 172:
      He vapoured, and fretted, and fumed, and trotted up and down, and tried to make himself pleasing in Miss Hollis's big, quiet, grey eyes, and failed.
    • 1904, “Saki”, ‘Reginald's Christmas Revel’, Reginald:
      then the Major gave us a graphic account of a struggle he had with a wounded bear. I privately wished that the bears would win sometimes on these occasions; at least they wouldn't go vapouring about it afterwards.
    • 1978, Lawrence Durrell, Livia, Faber