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miasma

[ mahy-az-muh, mee- ]
/ maɪˈæz mə, mi- /
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See synonyms for: miasma / miasmatic / miasmic on Thesaurus.com

noun, plural mi·as·mas, mi·as·ma·ta [mahy-az-muh-tuh, mee-]. /maɪˈæz mə tə, mi-/.

noxious exhalations from putrescent organic matter; poisonous effluvia or germs polluting the atmosphere.
a dangerous, foreboding, or deathlike influence or atmosphere.

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Origin of miasma

1655–65; <New Latin <Greek míasma stain, pollution, akin to miaínein to pollute, stain

OTHER WORDS FROM miasma

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for miasma

  • The miasmal vapors that clustered thickly about the flats by night gathered their linen and fled like the hunted.

    The Argus Pheasant|John Charles Beecham
  • There were decaying patches on the fungus growths and a miasmal mist was descending from it toward the ship.

    The Sky Trap|Frank Belknap Long

British Dictionary definitions for miasma

miasma
/ (mɪˈæzmə) /

noun plural -mata (-mətə) or -mas

an unwholesome or oppressive atmosphere
pollution in the atmosphere, esp noxious vapours from decomposing organic matter

Derived forms of miasma

miasmal, miasmatic (ˌmiːəzˈmætɪk), miasmatical or miasmic, adjective

Word Origin for miasma

C17: New Latin, from Greek: defilement, from miainein to defile
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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