atmosphere

noun
at·​mo·​sphere | \ ˈat-mə-ˌsfir How to pronounce atmosphere (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from atmosphere

atmosphered \ ˈat-​mə-​ˌsfird How to pronounce atmosphered (audio) \ 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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Also, SpaceX intentionally launches the satellites about 160 miles lower than their operating altitude so that malfunctioning spacecraft can be quickly disposed of in Earth’s atmosphere. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, "SpaceX aims to appease astronomers in latest Starlink satellite launch," 6 Jan. 2020 Multiple groups around the world are working on ways to pull the gas out of the atmosphere and store it deep underground. USA Today, "10 years to save planet Earth: Here are 6 imaginative climate change solutions," 24 Dec. 2019 As for scientific rewards, the UAE’s probe, dubbed Hope, will use ultraviolet spectrometry to study Mars’s atmosphere and understand how and why hydrogen and oxygen escape into space. The Economist, "The World in 2020 The rush to Mars in 2020," 22 Dec. 2019 Added together, the sum of what’s coming down is more than what’s available at the top of Earth’s atmosphere. Katherine Kornei, Science | AAAS, "What’s it like to install a weather station at the top of the world?," 18 Dec. 2019 That means every second this year people put 2.57 million pounds of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere. Seth Borenstein, Fortune, "Global Carbon Pollution Continues to Rise, But More Slowly," 4 Dec. 2019 That means every second this year people put 2.57 million pounds of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere. Washington Post, "Global carbon pollution continues to rise, but more slowly," 4 Dec. 2019 In 2014, a meteor that entered Earth’s atmosphere was suspected to have come from a minimoon. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Spot Rare Minimoon Meteor," 3 Dec. 2019 The auroral activity happens when the sun releases electrically charged particles into the Earth’s atmosphere. Joelle Goldstein, PEOPLE.com, "Northern Lights Will Be Visible in Parts of the United States — Just in Time for Frozen 2!," 20 Nov. 2019

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.

See More

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."

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about atmosphere

Time Traveler for atmosphere

Time Traveler

The first known use of atmosphere was in 1638

See more words from the same year

Statistics for atmosphere

Last Updated

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Atmosphere.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/atmosphere. Accessed 22 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for atmosphere

atmosphere

noun
How to pronounce atmosphere (audio)

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 How to pronounce atmosphere (audio) \

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 How to pronounce atmosphere (audio) \

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-​ How to pronounce atmospheric (audio) \ adjective

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on atmosphere

What made you want to look up atmosphere? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to help to grow, develop, or succeed

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!