Etymology
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air force (n.)

1917, from air (n.1) + force (n.); first attested with creation of the Royal Air Force. There was no United States Air Force until after World War II. The Air Corps was an arm of the U.S. Army. In 1942, the War Department reorganized it and renamed it Army Air Forces. The National Security Act of 1947 created the Department of the Air Force, headed by a Secretary of the Air Force, and the U.S.A.F.

updated on June 05, 2012

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Definitions of air force from WordNet
1
air force (n.)
the airborne branch of a country's armed forces;
Synonyms: airforce
2
Air Force (n.)
the airforce of the United States of America; the agency that defends the United States through control and exploitation of air and space;
Synonyms: United States Air Force / U. S. Air Force / US Air Force / usaf
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.