vanish into thin air, to

vanish into thin air

1. To become invisible or pass out of sight, especially very suddenly or mysteriously. The wizard waved his wand and vanished into thin air. The magician's signature illusion is to make a volunteer vanish into thin air.
2. To become lost without leaving any trace behind. Police have been searching for a young girl who seemingly vanished into thin air two weeks ago. Authorities remain puzzled by the airplane that vanished into thin air somewhere over the Atlantic. The company has yet to explain how $10 million of venture capital vanished into thin air without so much as a prototype to show for it.
3. To be forgotten about very suddenly by the entire population, especially after being very popular. The digital pets fad took the world by storm in the late 1990s, but it pretty much vanished into thin air by the end of the millennium. After releasing their hit album, the band suddenly stopped performing live and seemed to vanish into thin air.
See also: air, thin, vanish

vanish into thin air

Cliché to disappear without leaving a trace. My money gets spent so fast. It seems to vanish into thin air. When I came back, my car was gone. I had locked it, and it couldn't have vanished into thin air!
See also: air, thin, vanish

vanish into thin air, to

To disappear altogether. Exactly when it was known that the higher one goes the thinner the air (owing to less available oxygen) is not certain. Shakespeare, however, wrote of ghosts that “Melted into air, into thin air” in 1610 (The Tempest, 4:1). A twentieth-century version of this cliché is the vanishing act, said of a person who unexpectedly disappears. It comes from the magician’s trick of making something disappear (hence “act”). The essayist Logan Pearsall Smith used it poignantly in All Trivia (1933): “I cannot forgive my friends for dying; I do not find these vanishing acts of theirs at all amusing.”
See also: thin, vanish