cli·​mate | \ ˈklī-mət How to pronounce climate (audio) \

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 Assembly members provided a mixed picture when climate solutions clashed with lifestyle choices. Jess Shankleman,, "Brits Ready to Hand Government More Powers to Meet Climate Goals," 9 Sep. 2020 Because each crop has its own needs and preferred climate, the seed growers come from across the United States and the world, with centers of seed production in Europe, Chile, Israel, East Africa, Japan and, yes, China. Adrian Higgins, Washington Post, "This year’s unsolicited seed scare highlights the work of legitimate seed growers," 9 Sep. 2020 Fighting global warming from home: How climate change activists are adapting to the pandemic. Taylor Kate Brown,, "Bay Briefing: The present and likely future of PG&E power shut-offs," 9 Sep. 2020 Some industry proponents argue that SMRs are the best option for bringing large amounts of emissions-free technology online in the short term to help battle climate change. David Levitan, Scientific American, "First U.S. Small Nuclear Reactor Design Is Approved," 9 Sep. 2020 According to Taalas, these types of climate disasters will continue at least through the 2060s because of the heat-trapping gases already in the air. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, "Greenhouse gas emissions around the world nearly back to pre-pandemic levels," 9 Sep. 2020 Montana Senator Jon Tester—hardly a climate hawk—introduced a bill this summer called the Leasing Market Efficiency Act, which would subject federal auctions to market pressures that Trump’s Department of Interior seems keen to avoid. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, "Trump’s Fire Sale of Public Lands for Oil and Gas Drillers," 9 Sep. 2020 Arizona’s climate has been naturally reducing the invasive species population. Anton L. Delgado, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona had slowed quagga mussel invasion, but a rise in boat sales could renew the threat," 8 Sep. 2020 By 2030, the E.U. wants that to be 32 percent—on the way to being climate neutral by 2050, meaning whatever emissions are left will be offset by removing an equal amount of carbon from the atmosphere. Andrew Blum, Popular Science, "To hit renewables targets, countries are sharing energy across borders," 8 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for climate

Time Traveler

The first known use of climate was in 1578

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Statistics for climate

Last Updated

12 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Climate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for climate


How to pronounce climate (audio)

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 How to pronounce climate (audio) \

Kids Definition of climate

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

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