Definition of atmosphere in English:



  • 1The envelope of gases surrounding the earth or another planet:

    ‘part of the sun's energy is absorbed by the earth's atmosphere’
    • ‘This gas, comprising 1% of the atmosphere, covers the earth like a quilt and prevents the loss of heat to space.’
    • ‘Most of the world's scientists agree that these increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are causing the Earth to warm.’
    • ‘This influx of cold air into the lower atmosphere initiates a new ice age.’
    • ‘Earth's atmosphere and its magnetic field manage to block most of the radiation from solar flares.’
    • ‘So, trapped in the musty atmosphere of planet earth, they appear clumsy and fragile.’
    • ‘But the atmosphere of the early Earth contained much less oxygen than it does today.’
    • ‘Siberian volcanoes spent 900,000 years spewing enough carbon into the atmosphere to raise Earth's temparature six degrees.’
    • ‘During this time it will be collecting images of the surface and collating information about the atmosphere surrounding the Red Planet.’
    • ‘Another intriguing feature of Titan's atmosphere is its apparent similarity to the atmosphere of the early Earth.’
    • ‘Five other spacecrafts also rocketed through the upper atmosphere of the planet that was earth.’
    • ‘Then, once the rocket fuel has burnt out and the motor is jettisoned by the pilot, the slow glide back into the atmosphere and down to Earth can begin.’
    • ‘The atmosphere of the young Earth was rich in ammonia and methane, and was probably very hot.’
    • ‘The earth has an atmosphere, and rotates on its axis as it revolves around the sun.’
    • ‘The reason that that is interesting is that we think that it bears a big resemblance to the atmosphere that Earth had in its early history 4 billion years ago.’
    • ‘The higher a person rises above earth into the atmosphere, the less protection he has from this cosmic radiation.’
    • ‘A paper on, for example, the Martian atmosphere typically would not cite publications on the atmospheres of other planets.’
    • ‘What happens to the charged particles which came from the sun after they hit the atmosphere of the earth?’
    • ‘The active breathing environment in a spacecraft cabin contains ten times more carbon dioxide than the atmosphere on Earth.’
    • ‘Sunlight traveling from space into the earth's atmosphere will undergo a large amount of refraction.’
    • ‘Earth's gravitational force holds the atmosphere around the earth.’
    • ‘Carbon dioxide and some other gases in the atmosphere keep the Earth warm enough for life to thrive.’
    • ‘The atmosphere of the Earth is like a blanket that traps heat.’
    • ‘Ozone in the upper atmosphere protects life on Earth from harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun, which can cause sunburn and skin cancer.’
    • ‘It has a planet-like atmosphere more dense than Earth's.’
    • ‘On Earth, the atmosphere and the magnetosphere deflect the charged particles that stream in from the Sun at a million miles an hour: the solar wind.’
    air, aerosphere, airspace, sky
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    1. 1.1 The air in any particular place:
      ‘these beetles breed best in a damp atmosphere’
      • ‘The air was stale and the dusty atmosphere was enough to make all of them hesitant to breathe.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Flying insects, some of which were very large owing to the oxygen-rich atmosphere, populated the air.’
      • ‘The atmosphere is thin but breathable and the air temperature is approximately 10 degrees Celsius.’
      • ‘Blackness mingled with the damp walls and cold air, and the atmosphere smelled of foul concoctions and wet rats.’
      • ‘Miss Smith said the damp has made the sickness she has felt through her pregnancy worse and fears the damp atmosphere could affect her baby's health.’
      • ‘Considering how many plants sit on my desk, and the dry atmosphere created by the air conditioning, swift action was required.’
      • ‘Dusty atmosphere and physical exertions are extremely harmful for heart patients.’
      • ‘At that moment, from across the river on whose banks they waited, there came a dull clanking, the sound muted by the damp atmosphere.’
      • ‘These love the damp atmosphere of a humid bathroom, but they don't all like shady spots.’
      • ‘He shivered slightly in the damp atmosphere.’
      • ‘The whole residence was blanketed in a dusty atmosphere that made me sneeze often when the windows were shut up tightly as they were on this particular day.’
      • ‘The pub I work for has a smoking bar and a non-smoking bar which allows people the freedom of choice to decide if they want to sit in a smoky atmosphere or a clean air environment.’
      • ‘The continued theme of constriction continues with the suggestion of a suffocating atmosphere in the thin air of high altitude, and the longing for a return to the previous life and the friends below.’
    2. 1.2Physics A unit of pressure equal to mean atmospheric pressure at sea level, 101,325 pascals.
      • ‘The simulations were run at constant pressure of 1 atm in all coordinate directions.’
      • ‘A Langevin piston was used to maintain the pressure at 1 atm.’
      • ‘The pressure was kept at 1.0 atm using isotropic positional scaling and the temperature was controlled by Berendsen's method.’
      • ‘Furthermore, our measurements of 10 atm of adhesion pressure strongly contradict the suction hypothesis.’
      • ‘To prevent bubble formation during the measurements, an additional pressure of 1 atm was applied.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 2The pervading tone or mood of a place, situation, or creative work:

    ‘the hotel has won commendations for its friendly, welcoming atmosphere’
    • ‘An electric atmosphere filled the air, as the lords, nobles and other important figures all along the table waited in anticipation for the show to begin.’
    • ‘Soothing music playing in the background created a relaxing atmosphere, setting the tone for the evening.’
    • ‘But everybody was so down to earth, and the atmosphere was very relaxed.’
    • ‘Such festivals attract large groups of young people together in an atmosphere of welcome, adventure and celebration.’
    • ‘She looked startled by the question, and a hint of sadness pervaded the atmosphere around her.’
    • ‘However, with supper came darkness, and as the sun went down, the atmosphere in the apartment got tense.’
    • ‘We are currently seeking new members, so if you enjoy bingo and would like to meet people in a friendly atmosphere, why not come along.’
    • ‘There was a wonderful atmosphere as some breathtaking rallies were played.’
    • ‘The cyber cafe will provide a friendly atmosphere for people who have never used a computer to learn the basics and become more familiar with using the internet.’
    • ‘An atmosphere of pervading gloom hung in the air.’
    • ‘‘This sets a creative atmosphere for work and discussions,’ Grigorov said.’
    • ‘If you are a plane enthusiast or interested in taking in the atmosphere at an air show, I have six car passes worth £17 each available for Saturday.’
    • ‘Despite this, the atmosphere is friendly and welcoming.’
    • ‘There was a festival atmosphere in the air, with hundreds of people packing the streets for all of the events that had been organised.’
    • ‘But stumble and strain under an unceasing atmosphere of creative tension, and you'll get trampled.’
    • ‘An apocalyptic atmosphere pervades, and makes the novel crucial reading for anyone with a passing interest in other humans and conflict.’
    • ‘They describe the atmosphere as creative and point out that a third of their visitors do not want to ride, just chill.’
    • ‘I'd always found it so easy to let myself get caught up in the festive atmosphere that seemed to pervade the season, and I suppose that's true even now.’
    • ‘The atmosphere is lively and creative, with drawings and craft objects in almost every classroom.’
    • ‘Though the film was shot in full color, sets and costumes alike draw heavily on muted tones, creating an atmosphere of age and mystery.’
    • ‘An atmosphere of camaraderie pervades the Academy.’
    • ‘Even in the darkness of a damp February night there was a carnival atmosphere.’
    ambience, aura, climate, air, mood, feel, feeling, character, tone, overtone, undertone, tenor, spirit, quality, aspect, element, undercurrent, flavour, colour, colouring, look, impression, suggestion, emanation
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    1. 2.1[mass noun] A pleasurable and interesting mood:
      ‘a superb restaurant, full of atmosphere’
      • ‘These films were strong on atmosphere and often had interesting storylines and settings.’
      • ‘Buckner's interests move more toward atmosphere than concrete content, yet he never veers off too far into inscrutability or vagaries.’
      • ‘In the four days we spent in St Petersburg we feasted on mood and atmosphere.’
      • ‘The screen effects provide warmth, mood and atmosphere - all the things a club manager needs to energise a crowd.’
      • ‘It's fun, fast, friendly and full of atmosphere - and the food's good too.’
      • ‘If you are looking to add some depth, atmosphere and interest to your images, then this is worth a look.’
      • ‘Finally there is anticipation, excitement, atmosphere.’
      • ‘Irish bars such as Mustang Sally's, Flannery's and O'Reilly's are always worth the effort, for sheer atmosphere, ambience and fun.’
      • ‘These shortcomings are compounded by the film's claim to noir status, which would suggest a level of tension or excitement or at least atmosphere.’
      • ‘Scent in the garden is indispensable, luring you outside to enjoy the hot balmy days of summer and adding mood and atmosphere to a space.’
      • ‘It might be wise to save your money until a collection of Morricone remixes is produced that properly highlights the composer's talent for mood and atmosphere.’
      • ‘Backlit plants create mood and atmosphere, a trick used in full, tremendous force by architect extraordinaire Luis Barragan.’
      • ‘Dodge's writing is seriously fun; heaps of enthusiasm and lashings of atmosphere.’
      • ‘Like me, they want to do music with passion, with involvement, with an enormous feeling of atmosphere, of imagination.’
      • ‘Evans's writing is evocative and full of atmosphere, her plotting compelling and convincing.’
      • ‘I know people who have done small city marathons and given up, because it had no atmosphere and they lost interest.’
      • ‘But most of the record showcases Gainsbourg's mastery of mood, atmosphere and orchestral innovation.’
      • ‘But it is a small price to pay for such a great event, choc full of atmosphere and alive with positive energy.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There are writers who describe country scenes most vividly, in ways that are full of atmosphere: Mauriac, Maupassant and the Provencal Giono, for example.’
      • ‘It is full of atmosphere and un-earthly impressions, even when it is just words on a piece of paper.’


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