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

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Other Words from atmosphere

atmosphered \ -​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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

But one astronomer has proposed an even more powerful space telescope—the Terrascope—that would use Earth’s atmosphere as a natural lens to gather and focus light. Catherine Matacic, Science | AAAS, "Top stories: Skin-seeing caterpillars, a climate ‘reality check,’ and why cats eat grass," 9 Aug. 2019 These are just a few of the ways humans have been trying to counteract the planet-melting effects of pumping carbon into Earth’s atmosphere for the better part of a century. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "Crispr Can Help Solve Our Looming Food Crisis—Here's How," 8 Aug. 2019 As a result, we’ll be forced to see it behind a thicker layer of Earth’s atmosphere near the horizon. Mike Lynch, Twin Cities, "Sky Watch: The second-prettiest planet — next to Earth, of course — is on the rise," 28 July 2019 The American space agency, NASA, is planning to blast New Mexico chile pepper plants out of the Earth’s atmosphere in March 2020 and grow the fruiting blooms on the International Space Station. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "NASA is planning to spice up space, literally," 28 July 2019 Burning fossil fuels, like coal, oil and natural gas, has been the main source of greenhouse gas emissions into Earth’s atmosphere. Sophie Austin, sun-sentinel.com, "Where 2020 Democrats stand on carbon tax and other climate change policies," 26 July 2019 Meteorites are pieces of meteors that survive a trip through the Earth’s atmosphere and hit the ground, according to NASA. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, "Rice farmers shocked after possible meteorite crash lands in Indian village," 26 July 2019 Don Yeomans, manager of the Near-Earth Object Office at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has estimated that an asteroid like that will enter Earth’s atmosphere once every 300 years or so. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "A “city-killing” asteroid just zipped by Earth. Why didn’t we see it coming?," 26 July 2019 Ozone, a molecule formed in the Earth’s atmosphere, has a distinct and unusual isotopic signature. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Physics professor brings space science glory to CSUSM," 25 July 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.

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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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Statistics for atmosphere

Last Updated

13 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 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

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Comments on atmosphere

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