What Does Air Your Grievances Mean?

Air Your Grievances Meaning

Definition: To complain publicly.

Origin of Air Your Grievances

Air can be a verb. When used as a verb, it means to speak publicly. This usage has existed since the 1800s.

Examples of Air Your Grievances

define air my grievancesThis example dialogue involves a husband and wife who are out at a bar.

Bobby: I’m not impressed with this place at all.

Jennie: Well, it’s the first time we’ve ever been here. Maybe we just came on a bad night.

Bobby: I don’t think so. We’ve been waiting over an hour, and no one has served us yet.

Jennie: That’s true. They’re not even busy.

Bobby: And they’ve already served all the other tables that came after us.

Jennie: We also tried to ask for service multiple times. You’re right. This place is pretty bad. Let’s just leave and go somewhere else.

Bobby: Okay, but this isn’t over. I’m going to air my grievances online by giving them a bad review.

airing grievances meaningOne friend is talking to another at a wedding about something that is making him angry.

Andrew: I can’t believe I wasn’t allowed to bring a guest. Everyone else who was invited to this wedding brought a guest.

Aaron: Shh! They’ll hear you.

Andrew: I don’t care.

Aaron: I’m serious. Be quiet. The other people probably knew the bride and groom a lot longer. Maybe they just didn’t have room for any more people.

Andrew: I disagree. If everyone else already brought a guest, I don’t see how one more person could have made a difference. It’s selfish!

Aaron: Even if it is selfish, their wedding is not the correct place to air your grievances. Try to forget about it for the moment. You can complain about this later.

Andrew: Okay, you’re right. Sorry.

More Examples

This excerpt is about employees publicly sharing the problems they perceive with the companies for which they work.

  • And as Uber goes into damage control — the company had barely put a recent controversy surrounding Kalanick’s involvement with President Trump’s economic advisory panel behind it when Fowler published her blog post — public relations experts said now is the time for other technology firms to do some soul searching before their own employees publicly air grievances. –LA Times

The second excerpt is about a vice president who got fired. He wanted to complain publicly about the company.

  • Either way, one thing is clear: Boyd was prepared to air his grievances against In-N-Out, Martinez and other top executives. –LA Times


To air one’s grievances means to voice one’s negative opinions in a non-private manner.