stratosphere

noun strato·sphere \ ˈstra-tə-ˌsfir \
Updated on: 11 Sep 2017

Definition of stratosphere

1 :the part of the earth's atmosphere which extends from the top of the troposphere to about 30 miles (50 kilometers) above the surface and in which temperature increases gradually to about 32° F (0° C) and clouds rarely form
2 :a very high or the highest region on or as if on a graded scale
  • construction costs in the stratosphere
  • the celebrity stratosphere

stratospheric

play \ˌstra-tə-ˈsfir-ik, -ˈsfer-\ adjective

stratospherically

\-i-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Recent Examples of stratosphere from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stratosphere.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

The stratosphere (strato- simply means "layer" or "level") lies above the earth's weather and mostly changes very little. It contains the ozone layer, which shields us from the sun's ultraviolet radiation except where it's been harmed by manmade chemicals. The levels of the atmosphere are marked particularly by their temperatures; stratospheric temperatures rise only to around 32°—very moderate considering that temperatures in the troposphere below may descend to about -70° and those in the ionosphere above may rise to 1000°.

Origin and Etymology of stratosphere

French stratosphère, from New Latin stratum + -o- + French sphère sphere, from Latin sphaera



STRATOSPHERE Defined for Kids

stratosphere

noun strato·sphere \ ˈstra-tə-ˌsfir \

Definition of stratosphere for Students

:an upper portion of the atmosphere extending from about 6 miles (10 kilometers) to 30 miles (50 kilometers) upward where temperature changes little and clouds rarely form


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