strato·sphere | \ ˈstra-tə-ˌsfir \

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, -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

But as college and other costs hit the stratosphere, at least the prom can be had for a song. Jo Craven Mcginty, WSJ, "The Prom Is Becoming a Cheap(er) Date," 20 Apr. 2018 Maybe Jayson Tatum will take a jump into the stratosphere and Irving (knee) and Gordon Hayward (ankle) will come back healthy, mow through the Eastern Conference and upset those loaded Warriors. Michael Powell, New York Times, "The East Has Fallen Off the Map," 3 July 2018 The McQueen Rolex’s emergence is directly tied to the treasure hunt that started when the price of Newman’s watch left the stratosphere last October. Cam Wolf, GQ, "Steve McQueen’s Destroyed-in-a-Wildfire Rolex Is Going Up for Auction," 5 June 2018 Buildings were burned after being struck by lightning from static electricity in the ash cloud, which reached the stratosphere. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska is no stranger to volcanoes erupting. But what would happen in a big one?," 28 May 2018 In addition to acting as planetary sunscreen, this also causes the ozone layer to warm the stratosphere. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Ars answers a federal judge’s questions about climate change," 19 Mar. 2018 The sticker shock stands out given Jenner's age and the hard-to-parse secret sauce that vaulted her family into its own celebrity stratosphere. Rachel Siegel,, "Kylie Jenner is on track to become the youngest self-made billionaire. Ever.," 14 July 2018 Mario Tama/Getty Images High in the stratosphere, sulfur dioxide reacts with moisture to create sulfuric acid, creating an aerosol that reflects sunlight back into space. Umair Irfan, Vox, "The Kilauea volcano summit exploded, sending a huge ash plume into the air," 17 May 2018 It is only destroyed in the stratosphere, some 9 to 18 miles above the planet's surface, where the resulting chlorine molecules engage in a string of ozone-destroying chemical reactions. Chris Mooney, Anchorage Daily News, "Someone, somewhere, is making a banned chemical that destroys the ozone layer, scientists suspect," 16 May 2018

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

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

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Last Updated

22 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for stratosphere

The first known use of stratosphere was in 1908

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More Definitions for stratosphere


strato·sphere | \ ˈstra-tə-ˌsfir \

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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