- the gaseous envelope surrounding the earth; the air.
- this medium at a given place.
- Astronomy. the gaseous envelope surrounding a heavenly body.
- Chemistry. any gaseous envelope or medium.
- a conventional unit of pressure, the normal pressure of the air at sea level, about 14.7 pounds per square inch (101.3 kilopascals), equal to the pressure exerted by a column of mercury 29.92 inches (760 mm) high. Abbreviation: atm.
- a surrounding or pervading mood, environment, or influence: an atmosphere of impending war; a very tense atmosphere.
- the dominant mood or emotional tone of a work of art, as of a play or novel: the chilly atmosphere of a ghost story.
- a distinctive quality, as of a place; character: The old part of town has lots of atmosphere.
- to give an atmosphere to: The author had cleverly atmosphered the novel for added chills.
Origin of atmosphere
Related Words for atmospherepressure, air, climate, tone, mood, space, feel, character, scene, environment, surroundings, taste, place, aura, sense, ambience, flavor, feeling, quality, spirit
Examples from the Web for atmosphere
Contemporary Examples of atmosphere
The atmosphere on campuses has gotten repressive enough that comedian Chris Rock no longer plays colleges.How the PC Police Threaten Free Speech
January 9, 2015
There is a long history of official anti-clericalism in Mexico, but the atmosphere in Tierra Caliente goes far beyond that.Mexico’s Priests Are Marked for Murder
January 7, 2015
However, several probes—most recently the Curiosity rover—have measured methane in the Martian atmosphere.Methane on Mars: Life or Just Gas?
Matthew R. Francis
December 17, 2014
Over a decade, his teaching often took place in an atmosphere of what one cadet called “wanton disrespect.”Stonewall Jackson, VMI’s Most Embattled Professor
S. C. Gwynne
November 29, 2014
Without it in the atmosphere, the Earth would be a barren, frozen wasteland.Extreme Weather? Blame the End Times
November 28, 2014
Historical Examples of atmosphere
It was sultry, and there was something in the atmosphere that at once threatened and soothed.Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
Her woman's vanity blossomed deliciously in the atmosphere of a man's love.Viviette
William J. Locke
He had breathed into the atmosphere a subtle malaria, and George had caught the disease.Life in London
They absorbed her atmosphere and after each followed a period of mental asphyxy.Weighed and Wanting
The campaigns of Napoleon, with their atmosphere of glory, illustrate this.A Treatise on Parents and Children
George Bernard Shaw
- the gaseous envelope surrounding the earth or any other celestial bodySee also troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, ionosphere
- the air or climate in a particular placethe atmosphere was thick with smoke
- a general pervasive feeling or moodan atmosphere of elation
- the prevailing tone or mood of a novel, symphony, painting, or other work of art
- a special mood or character associated with a place
- any local gaseous environment or mediuman inert atmosphere
- a unit of pressure; the pressure that will support a column of mercury 760 mm high at 0°C at sea level. 1 atmosphere is equivalent to 101 325 newtons per square metre or 14.72 pounds per square inchAbbreviation: at, atm
Word Origin and History for atmosphere
1630s, atmosphaera (modern form from 1670s), from Modern Latin atmosphaera, from atmo-, comb. form of Greek atmos "vapor, steam" + spharia "sphere" (see sphere). Greek atmos is from PIE *awet-mo-, from root *wet- "to blow, inspire, spiritually arouse" (see wood (adj.)). First used in English in connection with the Moon, which, as it turns out, doesn't have one.
It is observed in the solary eclipses, that there is sometimes a great trepidation about the body of the moon, from which we may likewise argue an atmosphaera, since we cannot well conceive what so probable a cause there should be of such an appearance as this, Quod radii solares a vaporibus lunam ambitntibus fuerint intercisi, that the sun-beams were broken and refracted by the vapours that encompassed the moon. [Rev. John Wilkins, "Discovery of New World or Discourse tending to prove that it probable there may be another World in the Moon," 1638]
Figurative sense of "surrounding influence, mental or moral environment" is c.1800.
- A gas surrounding a given body; a gaseous medium.
- A unit of pressure equal to the air pressure at sea level, approximately equal to 1.01325 X 105 newtons per square meter.
- The mixture of gases surrounding the Earth or other celestial body, held in place by gravity. It forms distinct layers at different heights. The Earth's atmosphere consists, in ascending order, of the troposphere (containing 90% of the atmosphere's mass), the stratosphere, the mesosphere, the thermosphere, and the exosphere. The atmosphere is composed primarily of nitrogen (78%) and oxygen (21%) and plays a major role in the water cycle, the nitrogen cycle, and the carbon cycle. See more at exosphere mesosphere stratosphere thermosphere troposphere.
- A unit of pressure equal to the pressure of the air at sea level, about 14.7 pounds per square inch, or 1,013 millibars.