verb (used with object), at·mos·phered, at·mos·pher·ing.
The earliest sense, from the mid-1600s, is found in early scientific writing, referring to “the gaseous envelope surrounding a heavenly body.” Figurative senses developed later: first “a surrounding or pervading mood,” referring to mental or psychological environment, in the late 1700s, and then, “a distinctive quality, as of a place; character,” referring to physical environment.
Examples from the Web for atmosphere
The atmosphere on campuses has gotten repressive enough that comedian Chris Rock no longer plays colleges.
There is a long history of official anti-clericalism in Mexico, but the atmosphere in Tierra Caliente goes far beyond that.
However, several probes—most recently the Curiosity rover—have measured methane in the Martian atmosphere.
Over a decade, his teaching often took place in an atmosphere of what one cadet called “wanton disrespect.”
Without it in the atmosphere, the Earth would be a barren, frozen wasteland.
This clears the atmosphere, so to speak, and we know who were after.The Motor Boys on the Wing|Clarence Young
There was nothing in the state of the atmosphere to attract special attention.A History of Epidemics in Britain, Volume II (of 2)|Charles Creighton
Mountains help to cause movement and change in the atmosphere.The Story of the Hills|H. N. Hutchinson
The atmosphere of an arbitrary regime engenders almost always "demonomania."Contemporary Russian Novelists|Serge Persky
I apologised for my intrusion; but the atmosphere of the place was not genial.The Charm of Ireland|Burton Egbert Stevenson
British Dictionary definitions for atmosphere
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.