climate

noun

cli·​mate ˈklī-mət How to pronounce climate (audio)
1
: a region of the earth having specified climatic conditions
His physician advised moving to a warmer climate.
2
a
: 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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Editorial Board: If 10 straight months of record-breaking heat isn’t a climate emergency, what is? Ryan Fonseca, Los Angeles Times, 17 Apr. 2024 Insurers in California have sounded the alarm: A warming climate has dramatically raised the risk of devastating wildfires, and with it the cost of providing coverage. John Woolfolk, The Mercury News, 17 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for climate 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'climate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

1578, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of climate was in 1578

Dictionary Entries Near climate

Cite this Entry

“Climate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/climate. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

climate

noun
cli·​mate ˈklī-mət How to pronounce climate (audio)
1
a
: a region with specified weather conditions
b
: the average weather conditions of a particular place or region over a period of years
2
: the usual or most widespread mood or conditions
a climate of fear
climatic
klī-ˈmat-ik
klə-
adjective
Etymology

Middle English climat "climate," from Latin climat-, clima (same meaning), from Greek klimat-, klima "slope, latitude, climate," from klinein "to lean, recline" — related to climax, clinic

Word Origin
If you stand at the equator and look up at the sky, the celestial pole (the point in the sky directly above earth's North and South Poles) lies on the horizon. As you move northward, the celestial pole gradually rises above the horizon, so that the sky is in effect tilted. This tilt or inclination was called by the ancient Greeks klima (literally, "slope," "inclination"). Because the angle of inclination is determined by your latitude on earth, klima came to mean "latitude," and the earth was divided into seven latitudinal regions, called klimata (the plural of klima). This word was borrowed into modern European languages as clime or climate, and the weather characteristic of a particular region was also called climate.

More from Merriam-Webster on climate

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