atmosphere

noun
at·​mo·​sphere | \ ˈat-mə-ˌsfir \

Definition of atmosphere

1a : 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)
5a : the overall aesthetic effect of a work of art
b : an intriguing or singular tone, effect, or appeal an inn with atmosphere

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Other Words from atmosphere

atmosphered \ -​ˌsfird \ 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The goal is to better understand how deforestation is adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere and how new, growing trees are capturing the gas. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Watch SpaceX launch thousands of pounds of cargo and experiments to the International Space Station," 5 Dec. 2018 The meteors blaze through the sky as pieces of debris burn up in the atmosphere, traveling at 37 miles per second (59 kilometers per second). Sarah Lewin, Space.com, "The 2018 Perseid Meteor Shower Promises Spectacular Views This Week," 6 Aug. 2018 The new craft would maneuver in atmosphere to make a pinpoint landing from space. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The Air Force Is Actually Considering Rocket Launches to Move Cargo Around the Globe," 29 Oct. 2018 In 2014 the rover measured a tenfold spike in methane, an organic chemical, in the atmosphere around it. Fox News, "Massive Mars discovery: Organic molecules 'fundamental to our search for life' found by NASA rover," 2 Oct. 2018 In the late 1950s and early ’60s nuclear weapon tests caused a spike in radiation in the atmosphere, Rieppi explains, and determining the amount of radiation present in a canvas allows paintings to be dated more precisely. Stephen Wallis, Town & Country, "The Science of Uncovering Forged Paintings," 17 Sep. 2018 These elements lend a cozy, lived-in atmosphere to your room. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "Here's How to Pull Off an Eclectic Decorating Style," 17 Aug. 2018 If there is not anything in the atmosphere to help focus the thunderstorm activity, that tends to be the case. Weldon B. Johnson, azcentral, "Rain in Phoenix 3 days in a row? Yeah, it happens, but not very often," 12 July 2018 Storms possible this weekend All the heat and humidity in the atmosphere is likely to generate thunderstorms across Wisconsin on Saturday and Sunday, according to the weather service. Joe Taschler And James B. Nelson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Dangerous heat arrives in Wisconsin; heat index tops 106 in Milwaukee, 114 in LaCrosse," 29 June 2018

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

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First Known Use of atmosphere

1638, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for atmosphere

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."

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Last Updated

15 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for atmosphere

The first known use of atmosphere was in 1638

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More Definitions for atmosphere

atmosphere

noun

English Language Learners Definition of atmosphere

: 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

atmosphere

noun
at·​mo·​sphere | \ ˈat-mə-ˌsfir \

Kids Definition of atmosphere

1 : the whole mass of air that surrounds the earth
2 : the gas surrounding a heavenly body (as a planet) The atmosphere of Mars is made up mostly of carbon dioxide.
3 : the air in a particular place
4 : a surrounding influence or set of conditions an atmosphere of excitement

atmosphere

noun
at·​mo·​sphere | \ ˈat-mə-ˌsfi(ə)r \

Medical Definition of atmosphere

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

Other Words from atmosphere

atmospheric \ ˌat-​mə-​ˈsfi(ə)r-​ik, -​ˈsfer-​ \ adjective

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