An aerosol is a suspension of fine solid particles or liquid droplets in a gas. Examples are smoke, oceanic haze, air pollution, smog and CS gas. When they say aerosol most people mean an aerosol spray can or the spray it makes.
To differentiate suspensions from true solutions, the term sol evolved—originally meant to cover dispersions of tiny (sub-microscopic) particles in a liquid. With studies of dispersions in air, the term aerosol evolved and now embraces both liquid droplets, solid particles, and combinations of these.