Definition 2021


hot air



hot air (uncountable)

  1. (literally) Air that has been heated, especially so as to function as the lifting agent of a hot-air balloon.
    The balloon was equipped with a burner to create hot air for lift.
  2. (idiomatic) Empty, confused, or exaggerated talk lacking meaning or substance; bluster.
    • 1913, William MacLeod Raine, The Vision Splendid, ch. 8:
      "You'll never get anywhere so long as youse trail with that reform bunch. It's all hot air and tomfool theory."
    • 1921, Alice Hegan Rice, Quin, ch. 28:
      "You give me a lot of hot air about your conscience. Why don't you get a soap-box and preach on the street-corners?"
    • 2001 June 24, Johanna McGeary, "How Bad Is China?," Time (retrieved 22 Sept 2013):
      Some of the steam in Washington rises from real issues, but a lot is the hot air of partisan politics.

Derived terms