I just cannot find this in any dictionary.

How is it called in English when someone opens the windows (and/or the door) of a house in order to let the fresh air come in? Please note that I'm interested in the phenomenon that occours naturally (and not through artificial ventillation).

Also, what is the name of when in this situation the air starts to flow and there is a wind-like movement of air in the house? Capable of slamming the door.

In Hungarian, letting the wind in is called szellőztetés and the wind itself is called called huzat (although the latter has multiple meanings).

(In my language, the same word is also used when you open a car window when it moves and you can feel the air on your head, some people dont like it. On the other hand, in the house it's usually a good experience.)

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    A word for the current of air itself might be draft (American spelling) or draught (British spelling). Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 19:02
  • @KaiserOctavius thanks! I think I confused that one with the 'unfinished' draft! Then it may be, 'let the draught in'?
    – n611x007
    Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 19:05
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    You've done a good job asking this question. I believe it might have been an even better fit for English Language Learners
    – J.R.
    Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 19:11
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    The English would sooner take their carpets up than air the house. No wonder there isn't a word for it! Just kidding... Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 20:27
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    @naxa I would say: A gust of wind explains why a door suddenly slams shut.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 21:02

3 Answers 3


The first thing I thought of was the phrasal verb air out.

You can also drop the word out and retain the same meaning. Macmillan explains it as follows:

air or air out (v.) [intransitive/transitive] if you air a place or it airs, you open the doors and windows to let fresh air in

As for what slams the door, that could be the air current, or, more informally, the breeze.

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    Formally or otherwise, I'd always say the wind. Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 19:36
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    The single-word verb is used far more commonly than its two-word synonym in the UK, I believe, J.R. Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 20:24
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    @Tim: For the record, I wasn't meaning to provide an exhaustive list. What closes the door could be called the wind, or it might be called a rush of wind, a gust of wind, a blowing breeze, a flow of air, a waft of air, and probably a few other things as well. There's no single name for it.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 21:15
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    @Edwin: I believe you're correct. In fact, the British edition of that same dictionary doesn't even mention air out. But air out is not uncommon at all in the US.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 21:24

I'd say "airing" or "aeration", actually.

/ˈe(ə)riNG/ Noun An exposure to warm or fresh air, for the purpose of ventilating.

the process of exposing to air (so as to purify); "the aeration of the soil".


Now, "airing" works, but "ventilate" also works. Check Wikipedia on this one, because ventilate can either be "active" or "forced", or it can also be "natural".


Ventilation includes both the exchange of air to the outside as well as circulation of air within the building. It is one of the most important factors for maintaining acceptable indoor air quality in buildings. Methods for ventilating a building may be divided into mechanical/forced and natural types.

As a plus, "ventilate" has within itself the word "vent", which implies an opening, whereas "airing" has no such implication.

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    As for your very last point, I'd say that air does have the implication of fresh air. After all, the word is air.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 22:20
  • An "airing" could refer to trotting out an idea for public comment. Air need not be fresh. But I wouldn't disagree with you -- it is just that "vent" occurs inside "ventillation". Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 23:12
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    Vent can also mean vent emotionally, or it can be part of a medical treatment – so the same can be said for both words. (By the way, I'm not bashing ventilate; you're right, it's a candidate worthy of consideration.)
    – J.R.
    Commented Jun 27, 2013 at 0:02

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