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 Skeptics have largely dismissed fears over man’s impact on global warming, saying climate change has been going on since the beginning of time. Chris Ciaccia, Fox News, "Climate change will turn Antarctica's coast green, algae seen from space, study says," 21 May 2020 There's no roadmap for fighting climate change, but bringing back a few old traditions might be a way for all of us to do our part. Dan Nosowitz, Better Homes & Gardens, "Planting a Victory Garden Can Help Fight Global Warming," 20 May 2020 This is hardly the first time people in power have misrepresented the state of science; climate change has suffered from this issue repeatedly. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Trump declares scientific study a “Trump-enemy statement”," 20 May 2020 Charging fares is a way to discourage usage, and the aim of climate-conscious mass transit is to encourage usage. Dean Baker, The New Republic, "Building an Economy That Works Again," 14 May 2020 Global warming a hot topic The candidates all said climate change would be a priority. John Tuohy, Indianapolis Star, "Take-aways from the Democrat 5th District congressional debate," 13 May 2020 For the past few decades, models devised by climate scientists have made alarming predictions about impending environmental devastation. Damon Linker, TheWeek, "The great uncertainty," 12 May 2020 Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA, explains that both become possible in May, before usually becoming most frequent and potent from late summer through early fall. Robin George Andrews, The Atlantic, "What Happens If a ‘Big One’ Strikes During the Pandemic?," 9 May 2020 California’s electricity is increasingly supplied by climate-friendly sources such as solar and wind farms. Los Angeles Times, "How to stop a climate vote? Threaten a ‘no social distancing’ protest," 6 May 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

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The first known use of climate was in 1578

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Statistics for climate

Last Updated

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Climate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 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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