1

ambient

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adjective am·bi·ent \ˈam-bē-ənt\

Definition of ambient

  1. 1 :  existing or present on all sides :  encompassing the ambient air temperature ambient light ambient sound

  2. 2 :  of or relating to ambient music (see 2ambient 2)

ambient was our Word of the Day on 02/01/2015. Hear the podcast!

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

Origin and Etymology of ambient

see 1ambient


First Known Use: 1624


AMBIENT Defined for English Language Learners

ambient

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adjective

Definition of ambient for English Language Learners

  • : surrounding on all sides

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


Medical Dictionary

ambient

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adjective am·bi·ent \ˈam-bē-ənt\

Medical Definition of ambient

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



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