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Gas (n.) An aeriform 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 aeriform state.