[am-bee-uh ns; French ahn-byahns]

noun, plural am·bi·enc·es [am-bee-uh n-siz; French ahn-byahns] /ˈæm bi ən sɪz; French ɑ̃ˈbyɑ̃s/.

Origin of ambience

First recorded in 1885–90


or am·bi·ence

[am-bee-uh ns; French ahn-byahns]

noun, plural am·bi·anc·es [am-bee-uh n-siz; French ahn-byahns] /ˈæm bi ən sɪz; French ɑ̃ˈbyɑ̃s/.

the mood, character, quality, tone, atmosphere, etc., particularly of an environment or milieu: The restaurant had a delightful ambiance.
that which surrounds or encompasses; environment.

Origin of ambiance

< French, equivalent to ambi(ant) surrounding (Middle French, also ambient < Latin; see ambient) + -ance -ance

Synonyms for ambiance

1. See environment. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for ambience

surroundings, atmosphere, climate, medium, ambient

Examples from the Web for ambience

Contemporary Examples of ambience

Historical Examples of ambience

  • Page 39 word "lambence" changed to "ambience" (no more than a faint ambience) meaning a faint light.

British Dictionary definitions for ambience




the atmosphere of a place

Word Origin for ambience

C19: from French ambiance, from ambiant surrounding; see ambient
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

Word Origin and History for ambience

1797, from French ambiance (see ambient). Cf. ambiance.



1923, a reborrowing of the French form of ambience, used in art writing as a term meaning "atmospheric effect of an arrangement" (see ambient).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper