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 Meanwhile, rising sea levels caused by climate change threaten. Globe Staff,, "We asked some of Boston’s leaders (who aren’t running for mayor) what the city’s next mayor should do. Here are their answers.," 9 Jan. 2021 Despite scores of recommendations that the governor’s Council on Wildfire Response said were urgent back in 2019, the Oregon Legislature made no headway on the issue last year after two Republican walkouts over climate change legislation. oregonlive, "Oregon lawmakers reluctantly make $17 million downpayment on wildfire preparedness," 9 Jan. 2021 All of the world’s warmest years have occurred in the last six years, according to the climate change service, an arm of the European Commission. Abby Smith, Washington Examiner, "2020 tied for the hottest year on earth, European climate service says," 8 Jan. 2021 Oysters also provide some protection from the disruptions of climate change. Melody Schreiber, The New Republic, "Can Oysters Save Our Seas?," 6 Jan. 2021 Scorched Earth Policies From geoengineering projects proposed by researchers between 2012 and 2020 to prevent or mitigate the impact of climate change. Christopher Beha, Harpers Magazine, "Archive: 2021," 5 Jan. 2021 Big oil companies face reputational risk amid growing concern over climate change. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "What will happen at the first-ever ANWR oil lease sale? Here’s what we know.," 5 Jan. 2021 The Only Living Girl on Earth is a short story that imagines life on Earth some 1,000 years into the future and touches on the devastation of climate change, the rise of AI, and the dissolutions of all nation-states. Seija Rankin,, "Read Charles Yu's first work of fiction since the National Book Award-winning Interior Chinatown," 5 Jan. 2021 Christiana Figueres was the former executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) from 2010 to 2016 and was responsible for overseeing delivery of the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change. CNN, "BP CEO and climate leader: We can only fight climate change if businesses help," 5 Jan. 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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Time Traveler for climate

Time Traveler

The first known use of climate was in 1578

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Statistics for climate

Last Updated

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Climate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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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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