into thin air


Also found in: Wikipedia.

into thin air

Also, into the blue. Completely disappeared, as in The report was here on my desk and now it's gone, vanished into thin air, or I don't know where they've gone-into the blue, for all I know. Both of these hyperbolic expressions, often preceded by vanish as in the first example, use the rarefied atmosphere far above the earth as a metaphor for an unknown location. Shakespeare wrote of ghosts that "melted . . . into thin air" ( The Tempest, 4:1). An antonym for both is out of thin air, meaning "from an unknown place or source." For example, She made up this excuse out of thin air, or The car appeared out of thin air. However, out of the blue is not precisely an antonym (see under out of a clear blue sky).
See also: air, thin

into thin air

COMMON If someone or something disappears or vanishes into thin air, they disappear completely and nobody knows where they have gone. Her husband snatched their two children and disappeared into thin air for years. Needless worry can vanish into thin air once you accept the things you cannot change.
See also: air, thin

into (or out of) thin air

into (or out of) a state of being invisible or nonexistent.
See also: air, thin
References in classic literature ?
So your grave, middle-aged family practitioner vanishes into thin air, my dear Watson, and there emerges a young fellow under thirty, amiable, unambitious, absent-minded, and the possessor of a favourite dog, which I should describe roughly as being larger than a terrier and smaller than a mastiff.
Carthoris had followed the creature for but a few minutes when it disappeared as suddenly and mysteriously as though dissolved into thin air.
They had simply vanished into thin air, for the native he had sent to inspect the ground beneath the open window had just returned to report that there was no sign of a footstep there, and what sort of creatures were they who could have dropped that distance to the soft turf without leaving spoor?
He added not; and Satan, bowling low His gray dissimulation, disappeared, Into thin air diffused: for now began Night with her sullen wing to double-shade The desert; fowls in their clay nests were couched; And now wild beasts came forth the woods to roam.
He said: "Dave did not vanish into thin air, did he?
These four forward-looking individuals are among a mere handful of MPs - Austin Mitchell is another - who actually understand that 97% of the purchasing power in circulation is not created by any public agency (ie, the Treasury, the Bank of England), but must be conjured up out of thin air in the form of 'loans' from the highstreet banks to their customers disappearing back into thin air as those loans are repaid.
Many modern-day illusionists are happy to make a rabbit jump out of a hat or a bird disappear into thin air.
He's made things disappear vanish into thin air, "how did he do that ?
In the first week of December, equity analysts at Goldman Sachs warned London's blue-chip index - the FTSE 100 - was about to see more than 15% of its value evaporate into thin air, with a plunge to around 4,700 by February 29.
As far as the Government is concerned they have evaporated into thin air.
But it is amazing that scores and scores seem to just vanish into thin air.
It seems HIS stool was being unloaded from the tour truck and was placed on the pavement outside the rear of the Lime Street theatre "for two seconds, two seconds", before it vanished into thin air.
com, more than 18 plays a game disappeared last weekend into thin air.
The result: Century 21 has become one the most profitable stores per square foot in Manhattan, thanks in part to this additional 5,000 square feet built into thin air.
The article also failed to mention the glitches in PayPal's transferring programs that would randomly make a customer's money vanish into thin air.