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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Gas \Gas\ (g[a^]s), n.; pl. Gases (g[a^]s"[e^]z). [Invented by the chemist Van Helmont of Brussels, who died in 1644.]

  1. An a["e]riform fluid; -- a term used at first by chemists as synonymous with air, but since restricted to fluids supposed to be permanently elastic, as oxygen, hydrogen, etc., in distinction from vapors, as steam, which become liquid on a reduction of temperature. In present usage, since all of the supposed permanent gases have been liquified by cold and pressure, the term has resumed nearly its original signification, and is applied to any substance in the elastic or a["e]riform state.

  2. (Popular Usage)

    1. A complex mixture of gases, of which the most important constituents are marsh gas, olefiant gas, and hydrogen, artificially produced by the destructive distillation of gas coal, or sometimes of peat, wood, oil, resin, etc. It gives a brilliant light when burned, and is the common gas used for illuminating purposes.

    2. Laughing gas.

    3. Any irrespirable a["e]riform fluid.

  3. same as gasoline; -- a shortened form. Also, the accelerator pedal of a motor vehicle; used in the term `` step on the gas''.

  4. the accelerator pedal of a motor vehicle; used in the term `` step on the gas''.

  5. Same as natural gas.

  6. an exceptionally enjoyable event; a good time; as, The concert was a gas. [slang]

    Note: Gas is often used adjectively or in combination; as, gas fitter or gasfitter; gas meter or gas-meter, etc.

    Air gas (Chem.), a kind of gas made by forcing air through some volatile hydrocarbon, as the lighter petroleums. The air is so saturated with combustible vapor as to be a convenient illuminating and heating agent.

    Gas battery (Elec.), a form of voltaic battery, in which gases, especially hydrogen and oxygen, are the active agents.

    Gas carbon, Gas coke, etc. See under Carbon, Coke, etc.

    Gas coal, a bituminous or hydrogenous coal yielding a high percentage of volatile matters, and therefore available for the manufacture of illuminating gas.
    --R. W. Raymond.

    Gas engine, an engine in which the motion of the piston is produced by the combustion or sudden production or expansion of gas; -- especially, an engine in which an explosive mixture of gas and air is forced into the working cylinder and ignited there by a gas flame or an electric spark.


n. (plural of gas English) vb. (en-third-person singular of: gas)

Usage examples of "gases".

With 1 pound of a permissible explosive or 2 pounds of black powder, the quantity of noxious gases given off from a shot averages approximately the same, the quantity from the black powder being less than from some of the permissible explosives and slightly greater than from others.

Of the latter, one represents the maximum amount of injurious gases, and the other the minimum amount, between which limits the permissible explosives approximately vary.

Such noxious gases as may be produced by the discharge of the explosive are diluted by a much larger volume of air, and are practically harmless, as proven by actual analysis of samples taken at the face immediately after a discharge.

When the gases cool, the curve merges into a straight line, which indicates the pressures of the cooled gases on the sides of the chamber.

The results of this test, when compared with those of the Bichel gauge, indicate that, for explosives of high detonation, the lead block is quite accurate, but for slow explosives, such as gunpowder, the expansion of the gases is not fast enough to make comparative results of value.

The reason for this is that the gases escape through the bore of the block rather than take effect in expanding the bore-hole.

After treating of methods of collecting and analyzing the gases found in mines, of investigations as to the rate of liberation of gas from coal, and of studies on coal dust, this bulletin discusses such factors as the restraining influence of shale dust and dampness on coal-dust explosions.

Of the gases given off by explosives, those resulting from black powder are accompanied by considerable odor and smoke, and, consequently, the miners go back more slowly after the shots, allowing time for the gases to be dissipated by the ventilation.

The work of the chemical laboratory in which explosives are analyzed, and in which mine gases and the gases produced by combustion of explosives and explosions of coal-gas or coal dust are studied, has been of the most fundamental and important character.

All movements of unprotected rescuers had to be preceded by exploration by the trained rescue corps, who analyzed the gases, as the fire still continued to burn, and watched closely for falls, possible explosions, or a revival of the fire.

Its object is to provide air or oxygen to be breathed by the wearer in coal mines, when the mine air is so full of poisonous gases as to render life in its presence impossible.

It is also proposed to test various kinds of insulation and insulators in this laboratory, and to determine the durability of such insulation in the presence of such corrosive gases and water as are found in mines.

This flue conducts the gases of the kilns to the stack, which is symmetrically located with reference to the kiln house.

The researches under way show the wide variation in chemical composition and calorific value of the various crude oils, indicate the possibility of the extraction of coal constituents by solvents, and point to important results relative to the equilibrium of gases at high temperatures in furnaces and gas producers.

A baffle wall has been built in the combustion chamber, which compels the gases to pass downward and to divide through two openings before they reach the boiler shell.