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[mist] /mɪst/
a cloudlike aggregation of minute globules of water suspended in the atmosphere at or near the earth's surface, reducing visibility to a lesser degree than fog.
a cloud of particles resembling this:
She sprayed a mist of perfume onto her handkerchief.
something that dims, obscures, or blurs:
the mist of ignorance.
a haze before the eyes that dims the vision:
a mist of tears.
a suspension of a liquid in a gas.
a drink of liquor served over cracked ice.
a fine spray produced by a vaporizer to add moisture to the air for breathing.
verb (used without object)
to become misty.
to rain in very fine drops; drizzle (usually used impersonally with it as subject):
It was misting when they went out for lunch.
verb (used with object)
to make misty.
to spray (plants) with a finely diffused jet of water, as a means of replacing lost moisture.
Origin of mist
before 900; (noun) Middle English, Old English; cognate with Dutch, Low German, Swedish mist; akin to Greek omíchlē fog, Russian mgla mist, Sanskrit megha cloud; (v.) Middle English misten, Old English mistian, derivative of the noun
Related forms
mistless, adjective
demist, verb (used with object)
undermist, noun
Can be confused
midst, missed, mist.
3, 4. See cloud. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for misting
Historical Examples
  • It was misting by then, and a chilling suggestion of autumn was in the air.

    Full-Back Foster

    Ralph Henry Barbour
  • For instance, what would they do if it was cloudy and misting a little?

    Six Girls and Bob

    Marion Ames Taggart
  • Is it the fog from outside which has come in and is misting her eyes?

    Doctor Cupid Rhoda Broughton
  • A misting rain was being swirled about by a temperish wind as Larry came out into the little street.

  • Outside it was misting heavily, but little did they mind it, as they141 were warm and dry and well-fed.

    Frontier Boys in Frisco

    Wyn Roosevelt
  • In the afternoon the clouds lowered over the valley and a misting rain set in.

    Whispering Smith Frank H. Spearman
  • A thin, misting rain was falling, and the wind swept down in cold legions from the snows of the North.

    Caravans By Night Harry Hervey
  • Dusk was misting down, outdoors, when with dragging steps he came out of the station.

    Gentle Julia Booth Tarkington
  • They trotted briskly around the corner on to the Avenue, and as it was misting heavily the driver let down the glass shield.

    One Woman's Life Robert Herrick
  • They spent the day with us, and have just now driven off on their return home, through this drizzly, misting evening.

    A Confederate Girl's Diary Sarah Margan Dawson
British Dictionary definitions for misting


the act or an instance of having an artificial suntan applied to the skin by a fine spray of liquid


a thin fog resulting from condensation in the air near the earth's surface
(meteorol) such an atmospheric condition with a horizontal visibility of 1–2 kilometres
a fine spray of any liquid, such as that produced by an aerosol container
(chem) a colloidal suspension of a liquid in a gas
condensed water vapour on a surface that blurs the surface
something that causes haziness or lack of clarity, such as a film of tears
to cover or be covered with or as if with mist
Word Origin
Old English; related to Middle Dutch, Swedish mist, Greek omikhlē fog
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for misting



Old English mist "dimness (of eyesight), mist" (earliest in compounds, such as misthleoðu "misty cliffs," wælmist "mist of death"), from Proto-Germanic *mikhstaz (cf. Middle Low German mist, Dutch mist, Icelandic mistur, Norwegian and Swedish mist), perhaps from PIE *meigh- "to urinate" (cf. Greek omikhle, Old Church Slavonic migla, Sanskrit mih, megha "cloud, mist;" see micturition).

Sometimes distinguished from fog, either as being less opaque or as consisting of drops large enough to have a perceptible downward motion. [OED]
Also in Old English in sense of "dimness of the eyes, either by illness or tears," and in figurative sense of "things that obscure mental vision."



Old English mistian "to become misty, to be or grow misty;" see mist (n.). Meaning "To cover with mist" is early 15c. Related: Misted; misting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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misting in Science
A mass of fine droplets of water in the atmosphere near or in contact with the Earth. Mist reduces visibility to not less than 1 km (0.62 mi). Compare fog.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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