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Aerie vs airy

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  • An aerie is a nest of a bird of prey such as a hawk or an eagle, or any large bird. It is situated at great height in a tall tree or on a cliff. Aerie has also come to mean a large house or fortress situated up high on a hill, cliff or mountain. The word aerie comes from the medieval Latin aeria meaning open space.

    Airy is an adjective which means an open, breezy area in which fresh air circulates freely. Airy also refers to things or actions with no weight. Therefore, airy can mean light in appearance, manner or movement. It may describe a delicate, graceful impression or items which are thin or gauzy. Airy may also describe an action which is light-hearted, something immaterial or plans which are insubstantial or unrealistic.

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    Examples

    Cave Valley reopened to allow daily access to climbers last year, but a few climbing routes are off-limits this summer as the California Department of Parks and Recreation works to protect a nearby aerie, or nest, of peregrine falcons. (Auburn Journal)

    An elegant, art-filled aerie above the heart of Annapolis. (Capital Gazette)
    A wood-fired oven anchors one end of the airy room, where Adey is turning out an assortment of breads made with fresh-milled flour; seasonal roasted vegetables, seafood and meats sourced from a farm in upstate New York. (Village Voice)
    The private rooms — which are all open, bright and airy with large windows — will allow for more space, support infection control and enable parents to be more actively involved in their child’s care (The Daily News)

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