cli·​mate ˈklī-mət How to pronounce climate (audio)
: a region of the earth having specified climatic conditions
His physician advised moving to a warmer climate.
: 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
: the prevailing set of conditions (as of temperature and humidity) indoors
a climate-controlled office
: 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.

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Singh, 18, said existential issues like climate change — as well as issues like pandemic recovery and the state of democracy — will most affect young people. Nick Perry, ajc, 21 Nov. 2022 That’s becoming a more pressing problem, since research shows that climate change is making these infections more diffuse. Angela Yang, NBC News, 21 Nov. 2022 For example, several Pacific Island nations have been pushing for the International Court of Justice to consider climate change. Dana Beltaji And Peter Prengaman, Anchorage Daily News, 21 Nov. 2022 Research shows trees help deflect the warmer, wetter effects of climate change in the Great Lakes region. oregonlive, 20 Nov. 2022 Vaughn said this grant and Borderlands’ work will help strengthen the land against climate change. Sarah Lapidus, The Arizona Republic, 20 Nov. 2022 Earlier, Harris announced a spree of initiatives to extend bilateral cooperation on climate change and economic growth, as well as to tackle drug trafficking and cybercrime in the Southeast Asia region. Arkansas Online, 20 Nov. 2022 Surviving climate change will come down to mitigation and adaptation. Sarah Sloat, WIRED, 20 Nov. 2022 What’s the cheapest, quickest way to reduce climate change without roiling the economy? Jim Krane, Chron, 20 Nov. 2022 See More

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.

Word History


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.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



cli·​mate ˈklī-mət How to pronounce climate (audio)
: a region with specified weather conditions
: the average weather conditions of a particular place or region over a period of years
: the usual or most widespread mood or conditions
a climate of fear

More from Merriam-Webster on climate

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