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[air-uh-sawl, -sol] /ˈɛər əˌsɔl, -ˌsɒl/
Physical Chemistry. a system of colloidal particles dispersed in a gas; smoke or fog.
a liquid substance, as a disinfectant or deodorant, sealed in a metal container under pressure with an inert gas or other activating agent and released as a spray or foam through a push-button valve or nozzle:
an aerosol for cleaning ovens.
of or containing a liquid or gas under pressure for dispensing as a spray or foam:
a deodorant available in aerosol cans.
Origin of aerosol
1920-25; aero- + sol4 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for aerosol
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A drop or so of the aerosol on the skin is enough, I understand.

    Damned If You Don't Gordon Randall Garrett
  • She flinched and misted a cloud of aerosol capsicum ahead of her.

    Makers Cory Doctorow
  • Solvents and aerosol sprays also decrease the heart and respiratory rates, and impair judgment.

    What Works: Schools Without Drugs United States Department of Education
British Dictionary definitions for aerosol


a colloidal dispersion of solid or liquid particles in a gas; smoke or fog
a substance, such as a paint, polish, or insecticide, dispensed from a small metal container by a propellant under pressure
Also called air spray. such a substance together with its container
Word Origin
C20: from aero- + sol(ution)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for aerosol

1919, from aero- "air" + first syllable in solution. A term in physics; modern commercial application is from 1940s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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aerosol in Medicine

aerosol aer·o·sol (âr'ə-sôl')

  1. A gaseous suspension of fine solid or liquid particles.

  2. A substance, such as a drug containing therapeutically active ingredients, packaged under pressure with a gaseous propellant for release as a spray of fine particles.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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aerosol in Science

  1. A substance consisting of very fine particles of a liquid or solid suspended in a gas. Mist, which consists of very fine droplets of water in air, is an aerosol. Compare emulsion, foam.

  2. A liquid substance, such as paint, an insecticide, or a hair spray, packaged under pressure for use or application as a fine spray.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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