1

ambient

adjective am·bi·ent \ ˈam-bē-ənt \
Updated on: 9 Dec 2017

Definition of ambient

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

Recent Examples of ambient from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ambient.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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


2

ambient

noun

Definition of ambient

1 : an encompassing atmosphere : environment
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

Recent Examples of ambient from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ambient.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of ambient


AMBIENT Defined for English Language Learners

ambient

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

adjective am·bi·ent \ ˈam-bē-ənt \

medical Definition of ambient

: surrounding on all sides
  • the ambient environment
  • ambient air pollution


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