miasma was our Word of the Day on 10/15/2015. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of miasma from the Web
Actions were extreme because paganism was considered not just a psychological but a physical miasma.
Eventually a miasma of unreality comes to pervade the book.
An acrid miasma emanates from the pan in which the detritus sits.
Some of her live sounds — including gentle whispers and back-of-the-throat clicks — were blended with prerecorded tracks in a surround-sound miasma.
Amid the commercial miasma swirling around Sunday's Super Bowl telecast, one advertisement actually stood out as something of a cultural and social event.
The miasma surrounding Coleman Coliseum these days is inescapable.
The fifth floor, where Spencer and Jackson had been lurching blindly through a miasma of burning petroleum products—the industrial equivalent of napalm—was lost shortly after 7:30.
Erichsen believed the prevalent theory that infections came from miasma, or poisons in the air that arose from rot and decay.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'miasma.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
In notes taken during a voyage to South America on HMS Beagle in the 1830s, Charles Darwin described an illness that he believed was caused by "miasma" emanating from stagnant pools of water. For him, "miasma" had the same meaning that it did when it first appeared in English in the 1600s: an emanation of a vaporous disease-causing substance. ("Miasma," by the way, comes from Greek miainein, meaning "to pollute.") But while Darwin was at sea, broader applications of "miasma" were starting to spread. Nowadays, we know germs are the source of infection, so we're more likely to use the newer, more figurative sense of "miasma," which refers to something destructive or demoralizing that surrounds or permeates.
MIASMA Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of miasma for English Language Learners
: a heavy cloud of something unpleasant or unhealthy
medical Definition of miasma
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