Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

ambient

play
adjective am·bi·ent \ˈam-bē-ənt\

Simple Definition of ambient

  • : surrounding on all sides

  • of electronic music : quiet and relaxing with melodies that repeat many times

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of ambient

  1. :  existing or present on all sides :  encompassing

Examples of ambient in a sentence

  1. Keep the chemicals at an ambient temperature of 70°F.

  2. the bright ambient light of the room

  3. People shopped as ambient music played in the background.



Did You Know?

Biologists explore the effects of ambient light on plants; acoustics experts try to control ambient sound; and meteorologists study ambient pressure, air, or temperature. All this can make ambient seem like a technical term, but when it first saw light of day, that all-encompassing adjective was as likely to be used in poetry as in science. John Milton used it in Paradise Lost, and Alexander Pope wrote of a mountain "whose tow'ring summit ambient clouds conceal'd." Both poets and scientists who use ambient owe a debt to the Latin verb ambire, meaning "to go around," the grandparent of our English word.

Origin and Etymology of ambient

Latin ambient-, ambiens, present participle of ambire to go around, from ambi- + ire to go — more at issue


First Known Use: 1596


2

ambient

noun am·bi·ent

Definition of ambient

  1. 1 :  an encompassing atmosphere :  environment

  2. 2 :  music intended to serve as an unobtrusive accompaniment to other activities (as in a public place) and characterized especially by quiet and repetitive instrumental melodies



Examples of ambient in a sentence

  1. <observing how the survival techniques of primates vary with the ambient>



1624

First Known Use of ambient

1624


Medical Dictionary

ambient

play
adjective am·bi·ent \ˈam-bē-ənt\

Medical Definition of ambient

  1. :  surrounding on all sides <the ambient environment> <ambient air pollution>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up ambient? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a representation of something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

confounded-person

Which is a synonym of indolent?

lazy frenetic melancholy philistine
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ