atmosphere

noun

at·​mo·​sphere ˈat-mə-ˌsfir How to pronounce atmosphere (audio)
1
a
: the gaseous envelope of a celestial body (such as a planet)
b
: the whole mass of air surrounding the earth
2
: the air of a locality
the stuffy atmosphere of the waiting room
3
: a surrounding influence or environment
an atmosphere of hostility
4
: 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)
5
a
: the overall aesthetic effect of a work of art
b
: an intriguing or singular tone, effect, or appeal
an inn with atmosphere
atmosphered adjective

Examples of atmosphere in a Sentence

Experts have noticed changes in the atmosphere. Meteoroids burn up as they pass through Earth's atmosphere. The planets have different atmospheres. a country inn with lots of atmosphere The food was good but the restaurant has no atmosphere.
Recent Examples on the Web But there were effects in its atmosphere for years. Chris Klimek, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 Nov. 2023 Children dying of dehydration and starvation in parts of Africa today are being killed by carbon put into the earth’s atmosphere by oil and gas executives in order to make money. Thomas Catenacci, Fox News, 15 Nov. 2023 SpaceX The new staging system will be put to the test about two minutes and 40 seconds after liftoff when the first stage engines begin shutting down after boosting the rocket out of the dense lower atmosphere. William Harwood, CBS News, 15 Nov. 2023 From the hidden passages with secrets ready to be discovered to the bustling squares, the city exudes a storybook atmosphere. Lindsay Cohn, Travel + Leisure, 14 Nov. 2023 That means either reducing carbon emissions to zero or balancing residual emissions by removing them from the atmosphere. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, 14 Nov. 2023 These follow-up observations will help confirm which JUMBOs are real by looking for traces of methane or water in their atmospheres, a telltale signature of Jupiter-mass worlds. Quanta Magazine, 13 Nov. 2023 Initially, many space travelers puke, or at least feel motion-sick — space-adaptation syndrome, or S.A.S., is what such nausea, headache and vomiting are called outside our atmosphere. Kim Tingley, New York Times, 12 Nov. 2023 Here’s how a few regions were affected by the extreme heat: Extreme heat fueled destructive rainfall because a warmer atmosphere holds more water vapor, which lets storms release more precipitation. Isabella O'Malley, Fortune, 9 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'atmosphere.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

earlier in Latinate form atmo-sphæra, from Greek atmós "steam, vapor" (probably contracted from aetmós, of uncertain origin) + -o- -o- + Latin sphaera sphere entry 1

Note: The word atmo-sphæra was apparently introduced by the English clergyman and natural philosopher John Wilkins (1614-72) in The Discovery of a World in the Moone (London, 1638), p. 138: "Proposition 10. That there is an Atmo-sphæra, or an orbe of grosse vaporous aire, immediately encompassing the body of the Moone."

First Known Use

1638, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of atmosphere was in 1638

Dictionary Entries Near atmosphere

Cite this Entry

“Atmosphere.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/atmosphere. Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition

atmosphere

noun
at·​mo·​sphere ˈat-mə-ˌsfi(ə)r How to pronounce atmosphere (audio)
1
a
: the whole mass of air surrounding the earth
b
: a mass of gases surrounding a heavenly body (as a planet)
2
: the air in a particular place
the stuffy atmosphere of this room
3
a
: a surrounding influence or set of conditions
a friendly atmosphere
b
: the main mood or feeling in a creative work
c
: a unique or appealing effect or mood
a restaurant with atmosphere
4
: a unit of pressure equal to the pressure of the air at sea level or about 10 newtons per square centimeter (about 14.7 pounds per square inch)
Etymology

derived from Greek atmos "vapor" and Latin sphaera "sphere"

Medical Definition

atmosphere

noun
at·​mo·​sphere ˈat-mə-ˌsfi(ə)r How to pronounce atmosphere (audio)
1
: the whole mass of air surrounding the earth
2
: the air of a locality
3
: 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
atmospheric adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on atmosphere

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