strato·​sphere | \ ˈstra-tə-ˌsfir How to pronounce stratosphere (audio) \

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

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Other Words from stratosphere

stratospheric \ ˌstra-​tə-​ˈsfir-​ik How to pronounce stratospheric (audio) , -​ˈsfer-​ \ adjective
stratospherically \ ˌstra-​tə-​ˈsfir-​i-​k(ə-​)lē , -​ˈsfer-​ \ adverb

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°.

Examples of stratosphere in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web According to a statement, the project will use a fleet of 35 or more balloons floating 20 kilometers above ground, in constant motion in the stratosphere, to provide 4G LTE service spanning 50,000 square kilometers across central and western Kenya. Bethlehem Feleke, CNN, "Google launches balloon-powered internet service in Kenya," 8 July 2020 This allowed particulate matter and greenhouse gases, suspended in the relatively calm stratosphere, to spread around the world. Matt Simon, Wired, "The Epic Siberian Journey to Solve a Mass Extinction Mystery," 6 July 2020 Yes, a man who gobbles down hot dogs at an annual event is being mentioned in the same stratosphere as arguably the greatest basketball and football players of all-time. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, "Should hot dog eating competition hero Joey Chestnut be included in greatest 'athlete' debate?," 6 July 2020 The space entrepreneurs who planned to send passengers ballooning into the stratosphere earlier this decade have revived the idea for a new venture called Space Perspective, GeekWire reports. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: Used Falcon 9s to launch humans, Scottish spaceport advances," 26 June 2020 It's had the effect of sending stocks and bonds into the stratosphere, as it's become clear to investors that the Fed will now backstop a lot of fragile corporates. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Global markets turn choppy as investors weigh the threat of a second wave," 22 June 2020 Rising into a new stratosphere, the view of Sexton started to change, from frustrating and oft-criticized outcast to one of the Eastern Conference’s elite scorers. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "What’s next for Collin Sexton? He has a lofty goal: ‘I want to push towards that All-Star Game’," 12 June 2020 Jet streams travel in the tropopause—the area between the troposphere and the stratosphere—at heights of about 8 to 15 kilometers (5 to 9 miles). Christina Nunez, National Geographic, "The jet stream, explained," 8 Mar. 2019 In terms of popularity, the Jordan Bulls are in another stratosphere. Connor Letourneau,, "Behind ‘The Last Dance’: How Klay Thompson’s uncle filmed Jordan’s Bulls," 3 May 2020

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.

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First Known Use of stratosphere

1908, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for stratosphere

borrowed from French stratosphère, probably from stratus stratus (from the zone's layer-like character, compared to stratus clouds) + -o- -o- + -sphère -sphere

Note: The term was introduced, along with troposphère, by the French meteorologist Léon Tesserenc de Bort (1855-1913). See note at troposphere.

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Time Traveler for stratosphere

Time Traveler

The first known use of stratosphere was in 1908

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Statistics for stratosphere

Last Updated

21 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Stratosphere.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for stratosphere


strato·​sphere | \ ˈstra-tə-ˌsfir How to pronounce stratosphere (audio) \

Kids Definition of stratosphere

: 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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More from Merriam-Webster on stratosphere

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stratosphere

Spanish Central: Translation of stratosphere

Nglish: Translation of stratosphere for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about stratosphere

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