miasma [mahy- az-m uh, mee-] Examples Word Origin noun, plural mi·as·mas, mi·as·ma·ta . [mahy- az-m uh-t uh, 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. Origin of miasma 1655–65; < New Latin < Greek míasma stain, pollution, akin to miaínein to pollute, stain Related forms mi·as·mal, mi·as·mat·ic , [mahy-az- mat-ik] /ˌmaɪ æzˈmæt ɪk/ mi·as·mat·i·cal, mi·as·mic, adjective un·mi·as·mal, adjective un·mi·as·mat·ic, adjective un·mi·as·mat·i·cal, adjective un·mi·as·mic, adjective
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for miasmal Historical Examples There were decaying patches on the fungus growths and a miasmal mist was descending from it toward the ship. The miasmal vapors that clustered thickly about the flats by night gathered their linen and fled like the hunted. British Dictionary definitions for miasmal noun plural -mata ( -mətə) or -mas an unwholesome or oppressive atmosphere pollution in the atmosphere, esp noxious vapours from decomposing organic matter Derived Forms miasmal, miasmatic ( ˌmiːəzˈmætɪk), miasmatical or miasmic, adjective Word Origin
C17: New Latin, from Greek: defilement, from
miainein to defile
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for miasmal miasma n.
1660s, from Modern Latin
miasma "noxious vapors," from Greek miasma (genitive miasmatos) "stain, pollution, defilement, taint of guilt," from stem of miainein "to pollute," from possible PIE root *mai- "to stain, soil, defile" (cf. Old English mal "stain, mark," see mole (n.1)). Earlier form was miasm (1640s), from French miasme. Related: Miasmatic; miasmal.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper