noun \ˈat-mə-ˌsfir\

: the whole mass of air that surrounds the Earth

: a mass of gases that surround a planet or star

: the air in a particular place or area

Full Definition of ATMOSPHERE

a :  the gaseous envelope of a celestial body (as a planet)
b :  the whole mass of air surrounding the earth
:  the air of a locality
:  a surrounding influence or environment <an atmosphere of hostility>
:  a unit of pressure equal to the pressure of the air at sea level or approximately 14.7 pounds per square inch (101,325 pascals)
a :  the overall aesthetic effect of a work of art
b :  an intriguing or singular tone, effect, or appeal <an inn with atmosphere>
at·mo·sphered \-ˌsfird\ adjective

Examples of ATMOSPHERE

  1. Experts have noticed changes in the atmosphere.
  2. Meteoroids burn up as they pass through Earth's atmosphere.
  3. The planets have different atmospheres.
  4. a country inn with lots of atmosphere
  5. The food was good but the restaurant has no atmosphere.


New Latin atmosphaera, from Greek atmos vapor + Latin sphaera sphere
First Known Use: 1677

Other Climate/Meteorology Terms

monsoon, occlusion, ozone, rime, squall, zephyr


noun \ˈat-mə-ˌsfi(ə)r\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of ATMOSPHERE

: the whole mass of air surrounding the earth
: the air of a locality
: a unit of pressure equal to the pressure of the air at sea level or to 101,325 pascals or to approximately 14.7 pounds per square inch
at·mo·spher·ic \ˌat-mə-ˈsfi(ə)r-ik, -ˈsfer-\ adjective


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In Earth's atmosphere, the limits of the atmospheric layers are approximate and variable, …—© Merriam-Webster Inc.

Gaseous envelope that surrounds the Earth. Near the surface it has a well-defined chemical composition (see air). In addition to gases, the atmosphere contains solid and liquid particles in suspension. Scientists divide the atmosphere into five main layers: in ascending order, the troposphere (surface to 6–8 mi, or 10–13 km); the stratosphere (4–11 mi, or 6–17 km, to about 30 mi, or 50 km); the mesosphere (31–50 mi, or 50–80 km); the thermosphere (50–300 mi, or 80–480 km); and the exosphere (from 300 mi and gradually dissipating). Most of the atmosphere consists of neutral atoms and molecules, but in the ionosphere a significant fraction is electrically charged. The ionosphere begins near the top of the stratosphere but is most distinct in the thermosphere. See also ozone layer.


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