Dear experts,

Would you confirm that the expressions below are not freely interchangeable variants of the same phrase but parttial synonyms sharing only ONE meaning in common, and can be represented as:

take air
take the air

take air - 1. (of rumors, etc.) become known; be made public: These words were all that passed between Porteous and his prisoner; but as they took air... they greatly increased popular compassion for Wilson.
2. go out for a walk; go out of doors: Guests went out to garden, later also brothers Werners went outside to take air.

take the air - 1. = take air 2: A few people were wandering among Ma's flower-beds, taking the air.
2. (sl.) leave; go away: I was very patient with the man, but when he became abusive I told him to take the air.
3. (euph.) leave to use the toilet: Danny rose and said he needed to take the air, a gentlemanly statement of his desire to use the outhouse.
4. rise into the air: Aviation or aviators' sickness... a train of complex symptoms occurring in those who take the air.
5. assume the manner of a person: 'Come you will be our honored guests at our banquet,' Katya said again taking the air of a ruler.

Thank you,

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Original Post
According to Random House Webster's Unabriged Dictionary:

To take the air has 3 definitions:

a. to go out-of-doors; take a short walk or ride.
b. Slang. to leave, esp. hurriedly.
c. to begin broadcasting.

There is no listing for to take air . Many major dictionaries I looked up (Oxford, Merrium-Webster, Macmillan, Chambers) also do not include this particular phrase in their listing.

Based on the definitions Yuri posted above, it seems like to take air is a less common variation of to take the air .
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