cli·​mate | \ˈklī-mət \

Definition of climate 

1 : a region of the earth having specified climatic conditions His physician advised moving to a warmer climate.

2a : the average course or condition of the weather at a place usually over a period of years as exhibited by temperature, wind velocity, and precipitation a healthful climate a warm, humid climate

b : the prevailing set of conditions (as of temperature and humidity) indoors a climate-controlled office

3 : the prevailing influence or environmental conditions characterizing a group or period : atmosphere a climate of fear a climate of suspicion the cultural climate of the 1960s

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Did You Know?

If you stand at the equator, the celestial poles (the points in the sky directly above the North and South poles) lie on the horizon. As you move northward, the northern celestial pole gradually rises above the horizon, so the sky is in effect tilted. The ancient Greeks called this tilt klima, literally “slope,” “inclination.” Because the angle is determined by your latitude, klima came to mean “latitude,” and the earth was divided into seven latitudinal regions, called klimata. The word came into modern European languages as clime or climate, and the weather of a region was also called climate.

Examples of climate in a Sentence

living in a cold climate These trees only grow in humid climates. The country's climate is ideal for growing grapes. the humid climate of Malaysia A climate of fear prevails in the city. the country's changing economic climate The company is trying to develop a positive climate for innovation.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Unlike so many other recent blockbusters intent on tapping into the current political climate for inspo, Fallout remains true to its roots., "Mission Impossible: Fallout Is As Wild & Fun As Henry Cavill's Mustache," 12 July 2018 The current political climate, with its divisive rhetoric and harmful policies, does not represent my values or the values of most Charlotteans. Jim Morrill And Steve Harrison, charlotteobserver, "After flurry of criticism, Charlotte council will vote on deals for RNC convention," 11 July 2018 The department grasps the role of policing in the current political and social climate, doing its best to bolster relationships, particularly in the black, immigrant and marginalized communities that have been historically oppressed, Moore said. Steve Miletich, The Seattle Times, "‘He’s just a doer’: Meet Seattle police-chief candidate Ely Reyes," 9 July 2018 Just how long that silver lining lasts, given the current climate between Washington and Beijing, is uncertain. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "China producing x86 chips nearly identical to AMD server processors," 9 July 2018 Now news orgs are a funny case, because most are traditional for-profit enterprises, except there isn’t much profit in the current climate. Will Bunch,, "In lieu of flowers for Annapolis, please subscribe to your local news org | Will Bunch," 1 July 2018 Nonetheless, in the current climate, a small improvement in the economic case for independence could have a big impact. The Economist, "Scottish nationalists face up to the economic challenges of independence," 7 June 2018 School districts are very aware of the concerns for student safety in the current climate of uncertainty and random acts of violence. Dr. Leland R. Moore, Houston Chronicle, "COCISD superintendent: The plain and simple truth on school campus safety," 3 June 2018 The next stop on the president’s tour will be Britain, amid a tumultuous climate for Prime Minister Theresa May. May’s government is in turmoil over her plans for exiting the European Union. Brooke Singman, Fox News, "Trump says Putin summit could be 'easiest' stop of European tour, amid NATO tensions," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'climate.' 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 climate

1578, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for climate

Middle English climat, from Middle French, from Late Latin climat-, clima, from Greek klimat-, klima inclination, latitude, climate, from klinein to lean — more at lean

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Statistics for climate

Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for climate

The first known use of climate was in 1578

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More Definitions for climate



English Language Learners Definition of climate

: a region with particular weather patterns or conditions

: the usual weather conditions in a particular place or region

: the usual or most widespread mood or conditions in a place


cli·​mate | \ˈklī-mət \

Kids Definition of climate

: the average weather conditions of a place over a period of years

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Comments on climate

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


to express warning or disapproval

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