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

Essential Meaning of climate

1 : a region with particular weather patterns or conditions living in a cold/dry/mild/hot climate These trees only grow in humid climates.
2 : the usual weather conditions in a particular place or region The country's climate is ideal for growing grapes. the humid climate of Malaysia increasing concerns about climate change [=changes in the Earth's weather patterns]
3 : the usual or most widespread mood or conditions in a place A climate of fear prevails in the city. the country's changing economic/political climate The company is trying to develop a positive climate for innovation.

Full 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 In addition to travel’s dollar expense, firms are now paying more attention to employees’ health and well-being, while climate goals are driving companies to reduce their carbon footprint. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Sep. 2021 Those who splurge enjoy private bungalows overlooking the Strip, with private dipping pools, showers, and climate control. Megan Wood, Travel + Leisure, 10 Sep. 2021 But the Biden administration’s climate agenda poses a real threat. Dan Eberhart, Forbes, 10 Sep. 2021 These policies have broad popular support, especially among young and urban citizens who increasingly rate climate as their most important policy priority. Ian Bremmer, Time, 10 Sep. 2021 Any other year around this time, none of this -- except maybe the smoke, ash and general sense of climate-anxiety apocalypse -- would be extraordinary. Katie Bain, Billboard, 10 Sep. 2021 That doesn’t mean it’s any simpler to decide how best to protect the grid — and, by extension, the vulnerable — from climate threats. Scott Dance,, 10 Sep. 2021 Hunter says one of the biggest challenges for her business is Jamaica's unpredictable climate. Lilit Marcus, CNN, 10 Sep. 2021 Global warming is making heat waves and other extreme weather events both more likely and more severe, and climate scientists have said conditions this summer offer a glimpse of what could become more common in the future. NBC News, 9 Sep. 2021

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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Learn More About climate

Time Traveler for climate

Time Traveler

The first known use of climate was in 1578

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Dictionary Entries Near climate



climate change

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Statistics for climate

Last Updated

13 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Climate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for climate


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

More from Merriam-Webster on climate

Nglish: Translation of climate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of climate for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about climate


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