Definition of atmosphere in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈatməsˌfir/


[usually in singular]
1The envelope of gases surrounding the earth or another planet: part of the sun’s energy is absorbed by the earth’s atmosphere
More example sentences
  • So, trapped in the musty atmosphere of planet earth, they appear clumsy and fragile.
  • What happens to the charged particles which came from the sun after they hit the atmosphere of the earth?
  • During this time it will be collecting images of the surface and collating information about the atmosphere surrounding the Red Planet.
air, aerospace;
literary heavens, firmament, blue, azure, ether
1.1The air in any particular place: we couldn’t breathe in the dusty atmosphere of his apartment
More example sentences
  • The air was stale and the dusty atmosphere was enough to make all of them hesitant to breathe.
  • Dusty atmosphere and physical exertions are extremely harmful for heart patients.
  • To replace some of the moisture that central heating takes out of the atmosphere, hang a damp towel over a radiator or place a bowl of water next to one.
1.2 (abbreviation atm) Physics A unit of pressure equal to mean atmospheric pressure at sea level, 101,325 pascals.
Example sentences
  • Furthermore, our measurements of 10 atm of adhesion pressure strongly contradict the suction hypothesis.
  • In the dilution stage, however, the internal pressure stays the same while the external pressure drops to zero, resulting in a pressure difference of 104 atm.
  • A Langevin piston was used to maintain the pressure at 1 atm.
2The pervading tone or mood of a place, situation, or work of art: the hotel is famous for its friendly, welcoming atmosphere this crisis further compounded the prevailing atmosphere of gloom
More example sentences
  • Soothing music playing in the background created a relaxing atmosphere, setting the tone for the evening.
  • An atmosphere of pervading gloom hung in the air.
  • Such festivals attract large groups of young people together in an atmosphere of welcome, adventure and celebration.
ambience, air, mood, feel, feeling, character, tone, tenor, aura, quality, undercurrent, flavor
informal vibe
2.1A pleasurable and interesting or exciting mood: a superb restaurant, full of atmosphere
More example sentences
  • I know people who have done small city marathons and given up, because it had no atmosphere and they lost interest.
  • Nothing can prepare you for the passion, atmosphere, humour, hatred and complete lack of interest in the quality of football that the majority of fans display.
  • Buckner's interests move more toward atmosphere than concrete content, yet he never veers off too far into inscrutability or vagaries.


Mid 17th century: from modern Latin atmosphaera, from Greek atmos 'vapor' + sphaira 'ball, globe'.

  • This word meaning literally ‘ball of vapour’ is from modern Latin atmosphaera, from Greek atmos ‘vapour’ and sphaira ‘globe’.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: at·mos·phere

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