aero-, aer-, aeri-

(Greek: air, mist, wind)

aerosphere (s) (noun), aerospheres (pl)
1. The area outside the air surrounding the earth where manned flight is possible: The power of the rocket propelled it to the outer limits of the aerosphere.
2. The entire mass of gas surrounding the earth: The aerosphere surrounding the planet Earth is comprised of a variety of gases.
aerostat (s) (noun), aerostats (pl)
1. A lighter-than-air aircraft which sustains its height by the buoyancy of the surrounding air: Unpowered balloons, blimps, and dirigibles are examples of aerostats which use one or more containers filled with a lifting gas which keep them floating.
2. Any of a proposed system of satellites for use in air traffic control and maritime navigation: Observation aerostats are used by the military to watch the field of battle.
3. Etymology: from aero, [nautical] + sat [ellite].
aerostatic (adjective), more aerostatic, most aerostatic
1. Relating to gases or resembling air; pneumatic: Such aerostatic gases, or compressed gasses, are used to propel an aircraft even under changing atmospheric flight conditions.
2. Pertaining to an aircraft, especially a dirigible: An aerostatic balloon derives its lift from the buoyancy of surrounding air rather than from the motion in the air:
aerostatics (s) (noun) (no pl)
1. The study of gases that deals with the balance of air or other gases, and with the equilibrium of solid bodies: Arthur decided to study aerostatics because he was very interested in the principle of floatation in air.
2. The science of aircraft that are lighter than air: Greg thinks that aerostatics seems to be a fascinating branch of research dealing with dirigibles and balloons, both of which are buoyant and float or drift in the atmosphere.
aerotactic (adjective) (not comparable)
Relating to the motion of life forms towards or away from oxygen: Jane was happy to have finally found some information about aerotactic movements of organisms for her term paper.
aerotaxis (s) (noun) (no pl)
A movement of an organism in response to the presence of molecular oxygen: Aerotaxis is the directed motion of bacteria or other motile organisms towards (positive) or away from (negative) from air and is caused by a change in oxygen concentration.
aerotherapy, aerotherapeutics (s) (noun), aerotherapies (pl)
A treatment using some kind of air: Aerotheapeutics, for example, is concerned with the treatment of diseases by fresh air or by air of different degrees of pressure or rarity, or by air medicated in various ways.
aerothermodynamics (s) (noun) (no pl)
The scientific research of the thermodynamic characteristics of gases: Aerothermodynamics is the branch of dynamics dealing with the relationship between heat and mechnical energy in the air and other gases.

Aerothermodynamics also pertains to the thermodynamic effects of air.

aerothermotherapy (s) (noun), aerothermotherapies (pl)
Treatment with currents of hot air: Aerothermotherapy is the therapeutic use of warmed air currents conveyed over the surface of the body.
aerotitis, barotitis, altitude dysbarism (s) (noun); baratitites; altitude dysbarisms
Inflammation of the ear; aero-otitis; aviator's ear: Aerotitis especially affects the middle ear due to failure of the eustachian tube to remain open during sudden changes in barometric pressure. This may occur during flying, diving, or working in a pressure chamber.

Barotitis is an ottic barotrauma caused by abrupt atmospheric pressure change, such as may affect the crew and passengers of aircraft during flight, particularly during descent.
Altitude dysbarism is another term for an inflammation of the ear caused by pressure changes when auditory tubes are obstructed which occurs commonly in aviators and divers.

aerotolerant (adjective) (not comparable)
Referring to microorganisms that are able to grow in the presence of air: Tiny aerotolerant organisms derive their energy by fermentation rather than by respiration.

Tiny aerotolerant creatures can grow in an aerobic environment with only a small amount of air.

aerotonometer (s) (noun), aerotonometers (pl)
An instrument for estimating the tension or pressure of a gas; tonometer: The old-fashioned term aerotonometer refers to the apparatus used for measuring gases in blood.

In the present day, the prefix of this word has been deleted in the medical parlance. .

aerotonometry (s) (noun) (no pl)
The theory and process of measuring the partial pressure of gases in blood: In class Judy learned about aerotonometry which refers to the procedure of calculating the partial pressure of gases in the red vital fluid of a person's body.
aerotropism (s) (noun) (no pl)
The movement of an organism toward or away from a supply of air. Aerotropism is the growth of a plant in the direction of an air supply, such as an air bubble in a bacterial culture chamber.

Aerotropsim applies to either a positive reaction, or towards an organism, or a negative reaction, which is away from an organism.

Aerotropism can also be the reaction to gases, generally to oxygen, particularly the growth curvature of roots or other parts of plants to changes in oxygen tension.

aerotropolis (air oh TROP uh lis; air oh TRAHP uh lis) (s) (noun), aerotropoli (pl)
1. A city in which the layout, infrastructure, and economy are centered around a major airport: An aerotropolis has an airport city core and an outlying area of business stretching along transportation corridors.

It is also called an "aviation city" or an "airport city". In its purest form, the aerotropolis is an economic hub that extends out from a large airport into a surrounding area which consists mostly of distribution centers, office buildings, light manufacturing firms, convention centers, and hotels, all linked to the airport via roads, expressways, or "aerolinks", and rail lines , or "aerotrains". This business-centered version of the aerotropolis is also called an "air-commerce cluster" or an "airport cluster".

Although the plural of metropolis is often rendered as "metropolises", the plural of aerotropolis isn't "aerotropolises." Instead it is aerotropoli. The difference is probably because more people are now using "metropoli" as the plural of "metropolis", a usage change that dictionaries have not yet incorporated, although it has been in usage since about 1978.

—Compiled from information presented by Paul McFedries at Word Spy.

2. Etymology: the problem with the creation of this new word is that the coinage has torn off a piece of metro [tro], "mother" and added it to aero, "air" and then added polis, "city"; making it more complicated than necessary. It would have been better to make the word aeropolis (s), aeropoli (pl), "air city".


Quiz If you would like to take self-scoring quizzes over the words in this thematic unit, then click Aero-Quizzes, so you can evaluate your knowledge about some of these "aero-" words.

Cross references of word groups that are related, directly or indirectly, to: "air, wind": aello-; aeolo-; anemo-; atmo-; austro-; flat-, flatu-; phys-; pneo-, -pnea; pneumato-; turb-; vent-; zephyro-.