AskDefine | Define aerosol

Dictionary Definition



1 a cloud of solid or liquid particles in a gas
2 a dispenser that forces a liquid out as a fine spray when a button is pressed [syn: aerosol container, aerosol can, aerosol bomb, spray can]

User Contributed Dictionary



From aero- (from sc=polytonic) + sol.


  1. In a gaseous or airborne cloud of particulate matter, either solid, liquid, or gas
    The paint came as a can of fast-drying aerosol spray.


  1. A gaseous or airborne cloud of particulate matter, either as a solid, liquid, or gas, which forces another substance out of a spray can.
    An aerosol was used to force the flea powder out of the can.
  2. A colloidal system in which the dispersed phase is composed of either solid or liquid particles and in which the dispersal medium is some gas, usually air.


gaseous or airborne cloud of particulate matter
  • Croatian: aerosol
colloidal system
  • Croatian: aerosol

Derived terms



Online Etymology Dictionary}}



Extensive Definition

Technically, an aerosol is a suspension of fine solid or liquid droplets in a gas. (Contrast with a smoke which is a suspension of solid particles in a gas.) In general conversation, aerosol usually refers to an aerosol spray can or the output of such a can.
The term aerosol, derives from the fact that matter "floating" in air is a suspension (a mixture in which solid or liquid or combined solid-liquid particles are suspended in a fluid). To differentiate suspensions from true solutions, the term sol evolved—originally meant to cover dispersions of tiny (sub-microscopic) particles in a liquid. With studies of dispersions in air, the term aerosol evolved and now embraces both liquid droplets, solid particles, and combinations of these. An aerosol may come from sources as various as a volcano or an aerosol can.

Workplace exposure

Concentrated aerosols from substances such as silica, asbestos, and diesel particulate matter are sometimes found in the workplace and have been shown to result in a number of diseases including silicosis and black lung. Respirators can protect workers from harmful aerosol exposure. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health certifies respirators through the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory to ensure that they protect workers and the public from harmful airborne contaminants.

Effect on climate

Anthropogenic aerosols, particularly sulfate aerosols from fossil fuel combustion, exert a cooling influence on the climate. The cooling effect of aerosols, however, does not seem to directly counteract the warming induced by greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and water vapor and is accounted for in climate models, despite some claims that "global dimming" by aerosols may counteract global warming.
Recent studies of the Sahel drought and major increases since 1967 in rainfall over the Northern Territory, Kimberley, Pilbara and around the Nullarbor Plain have led some scientists to conclude that the aerosol haze over South and East Asia has been steadily shifting tropical rainfall in both hemispheres southward. The latest studies of severe rainfall declines over southern Australia since 1997 have led climatologists there to consider the possibility that these Asian aerosols have shifted not only tropical but also midlatitude systems southward.


See also

aerosol in Bosnian: Aerosol
aerosol in Bulgarian: Аерозол
aerosol in Catalan: Aerosol
aerosol in Czech: Aerosol
aerosol in Danish: Aerosol
aerosol in German: Aerosol
aerosol in Estonian: Aerosool
aerosol in Spanish: Aerosol
aerosol in Esperanto: Aerosolo
aerosol in Basque: Aerosol
aerosol in French: Aérosol
aerosol in Galician: Aerosol
aerosol in Croatian: Aerosol
aerosol in Indonesian: Aerosol
aerosol in Italian: Aerosol
aerosol in Hebrew: תרסיס
aerosol in Hungarian: Aeroszol
aerosol in Dutch: Aerosol
aerosol in Japanese: 浮遊粉塵
aerosol in Norwegian: Aerosol
aerosol in Norwegian Nynorsk: Aerosol
aerosol in Polish: Aerozol
aerosol in Portuguese: Aerossol
aerosol in Russian: Аэрозоль
aerosol in Slovak: Aerosól
aerosol in Sundanese: Aérosol
aerosol in Finnish: Aerosoli
aerosol in Swedish: Aerosol
aerosol in Thai: ละอองลอย
aerosol in Turkish: Aerosol
aerosol in Ukrainian: Аерозолі
aerosol in Chinese: 气溶胶

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

aspergil, aspergillum, atomizer, clyster, concentrate sprayer, douche, enema, evaporator, fountain syringe, mist concentrate sprayer, needle bath, nozzle, retort, shower, shower bath, shower head, sparge, sparger, spray, spray can, sprayer, sprinkler, sprinkler head, sprinkling system, still, syringe, vaporizer, watercart, watering can, watering pot
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