See more synonyms for stratosphere on
  1. the region of the upper atmosphere extending upward from the tropopause to about 30 miles (50 km) above the earth, characterized by little vertical change in temperature.
  2. (formerly) all of the earth's atmosphere lying outside the troposphere.
  3. any great height or degree, as the highest point of a graded scale.

Origin of stratosphere

First recorded in 1905–10; strat(um) + -o- + sphere
Related formsstrat·o·spher·ic [strat-uh-sfer-ik, -sfeer-] /ˌstræt əˈsfɛr ɪk, -ˈsfɪər-/, strat·o·spher·i·cal, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for stratosphere

Contemporary Examples of stratosphere

Historical Examples of stratosphere

British Dictionary definitions for stratosphere


  1. the atmospheric layer lying between the troposphere and the mesosphere, in which temperature generally increases with height
Derived Formsstratospheric (ˌstrætəˈsfɛrɪk) or stratospherical, adjective
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 stratosphere

1909, from French stratosphère, literally "sphere of layers," coined by French meteorologist Léon-Philippe Teisserenc de Bort (1855-1913) from Latin stratus "a spreading out" (from past participle stem of sternere "to spread out;" see structure (n.)) + French -sphère, as in atmosphère. The region where the temperature increases or remains steady as you go higher. [An earlier stratosphere, attested in English 1908 and coined in German 1901, was a geological term for part of the Earth's crust. It is now obsolete.]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

stratosphere in Science


  1. The region of the Earth's atmosphere extending from the tropopause to about 50 km (31 mi) above the Earth's surface. The stratosphere is characterized by the presence of ozone gas (in the ozone layer) and by temperatures which rise slightly with altitude, due to the absorption of ultraviolet radiation. See also exosphere mesosphere thermosphere troposphere. See illustration at atmosphere.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

stratosphere in Culture



The region of the atmosphere of the Earth above the troposphere. The stratosphere begins at an altitude of seven to ten miles and extends to approximately thirty miles.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.