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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Europe’s pivot to African energy is complicated by more than climate goals. Evan Halper, Washington Post, 13 May 2022 Meanwhile, anxieties about dust storms are growing as the region’s climate gets hotter and drier. Leia Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 13 May 2022 But environmentalists argue the climate issue is too important to get caught up in political battles. Sara Cook, Weijia Jiang, CBS News, 12 May 2022 Predictions for the rest of the spring do not bode well for the West, with the drought and warmer weather brought on by climate change worsening wildfire danger. Marcio J. Sanchez, The Arizona Republic, 12 May 2022 After spending three weeks among the glaciers, and in the company of climate scientists and ornithologists, she was hooked. Edward Felsenthal, Time, 12 May 2022 Is there any chance of Congress passing a climate bill this year? Sammy Rothstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 12 May 2022 But the action on leases does fall in line with Biden's campaign promise to tackle climate change more aggressively. Ella Lee, USA TODAY, 12 May 2022 The Biden administration’s plans to develop wind power off the East Coast are drawing concerns from the fishing industry, in the latest example of climate policy colliding with the livelihood of coastal businesses. Jennifer Hiller, WSJ, 11 May 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.

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

Learn More About climate

Time Traveler for climate

Time Traveler

The first known use of climate was in 1578

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near climate



climate change

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for climate

Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Climate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!