Definition of mist in English:



  • 1[mass noun] A cloud of tiny water droplets suspended in the atmosphere at or near the earth's surface that limits visibility (to a lesser extent than fog; strictly, with visibility remaining above 1 km)

    ‘the peaks were shrouded in mist’
    [in singular] ‘a mist rose out of the river’
    • ‘At dusk, as darkness is falling, small red or yellow lights are twinkling in the dark-blue autumn mist.’
    • ‘The thick mist shrouded them in a gray haze, making it nearly impossible to see.’
    • ‘Early in the morning the mountains are usually sheathed in clouds of mist.’
    • ‘The Tuscany hills were shrouded in mist on the morning of departure.’
    • ‘The sun was almost up, and steamy mist rose from the ground.’
    • ‘A thin cold mist rose from the canal.’
    • ‘As she was being retrieved, she saw her lover's body disappear into the thick morning mist.’
    • ‘The trail began early that morning before sunrise; with daylight the warm air heated steamy mist above damp soil.’
    • ‘The early morning mist shrouded the motorway as he turned north away from Wellington.’
    • ‘Grey mist shrouds the hills and the tops of the pines.’
    • ‘The mountains shrouded in a dawn mist gave a mysterious calm to the bay of Obama.’
    • ‘There was a haze on the air, not quite a summer haze nor yet an autumn mist.’
    • ‘A light morning mist covered the ground, twirling and twisting hypnotically.’
    • ‘A fine white mist was swirling around the jetty.’
    • ‘She trudged on through the thick, swirling mist.’
    • ‘A cloud of mist rose and spread across the valley, shielding us from sight.’
    • ‘The road carries us over Week's Hill, then Walnut Hill, and across a flat valley, with mist hovering above the fields.’
    • ‘There was mist, cloud cover, and heavy rain, all of which impeded movement.’
    • ‘The next morning was warm, with a golden mist in the air.’
    • ‘There was a mist in the air mixed with a bit of a drizzle.’
    haze, fog, smog, murk, cloud, cloudiness, mistiness, scotch mist, haar, vapour, drizzle, spray
    steam, condensation, film
    brume, fume
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[in singular]A condensed vapour settling in fine droplets on a surface.
      ‘a breeze cooled the mist of perspiration that had dampened her temples’
      • ‘A tiny cloud of mist formed on the window where her hot breath landed.’
      • ‘She gave her wings an occasional flutter to keep the mist from settling on them.’
      • ‘The range office staff were busy rubbing away at the heavy mist that had settled on the jeep's windscreen.’
    2. 1.2[in singular]A haze or film over the eyes, especially caused by tears, and resulting in blurred vision.
      ‘Ruth saw most of the scene through a mist of tears’
      • ‘The fact that he was still with her after the nightmare, being so caring and tender, brought a slight mist of tears to her eyes.’
      • ‘He felt his lips quivering, and blinked through the mist that had blurred his vision.’
      • ‘Cherry smiled at her through a mist of tears and headed out the door quietly.’
      • ‘He squinted, but her face was obscured, either by the haze or by the mist welling up in his own eyes.’
      • ‘I looked through the mist of tears in my eyes to see Francesca, bent over me.’
    3. 1.3[count noun]Used in reference to something that blurs one's perceptions or memory.
      ‘Sardinia's origins are lost in the mists of time’
      • ‘Y'know, way back in the mists of time, years and years before blogging, a couple of my former professors at Brown had an idea.’
      • ‘The origins of the age of criminal capacity are lost in the mists of Scottish legal history.’
      • ‘But if done well such a ritual can provide that sense of the embodiment of land and history and people that has characterized the ‘magic’ of royal enthronements back into the mists of time.’
      • ‘I can't remember, and it is now lost in the mists of time.’
      • ‘The first ancient cities to emerge from the mists of time will be Athens, Rome, London and Norwich.’
      • ‘The origin of palmistry lies shrouded in the mists of antiquity.’
      • ‘Somewhere back in the mists of time, a volcano erupted and the archipelago of Madeira was formed.’
      • ‘Ever since rival villages kicked lumps out of each other as they chased inflated pigs' bladders back in the mists of time, football has been claimed as the people's game, a democracy of dribblers where the best could rise to the top.’
      • ‘The origin of this controversy sometimes seems lost in the mists of time, but if memory serves, here's the timeline.’
      • ‘Our story begins, Dear Reader, far back in the mists of history.’
      • ‘Way back in the mists of time, the fact that we could interact with so much of the world (apart from the deep sea and the highest peaks we could get pretty much everywhere) meant that we learnt more about how to use it to our advantage.’
      • ‘But the ancient recipe became lost in the mists of time - until James's great-great-grandson John found it scribbled on a scrap of paper in an old shoebox.’
      • ‘The origins of the ancient Olympic games are lost in the mists of time.’
      • ‘Somewhere in the mists of her family history, someone had money.’
      • ‘His book also provides marvelous ammunition to those who argue that the origins of Dayak ethnicity lie not in the mists of time but with the birth of the modern state in Indonesia - about a century ago.’
      • ‘Some of the prizes have been running for many years and the origins of many are lost in the mists of time.’
      • ‘Was it so far into the mists of time that there was respect for other people's property and decent family values?’
      • ‘Almost disappeared in the mists of time is the era when we complained in a civilised manner.’
      • ‘Long ago in the mists of time, there was a leadership battle for the Labour Party.’
      • ‘The point is that the name's history fades into the mists of antiquity.’


  • 1Cover or become covered with mist.

    [with object] ‘the windows of the car were misted up with condensation’
    [no object] ‘the glass was beginning to mist up’
    • ‘She fell 20 feet after her goggles misted up - and she was only saved by soft and deep snow.’
    • ‘An inquest heard his glasses had probably misted up, causing him to veer into a tree stump.’
    • ‘With the air conditioning turned off, everything misted up badly.’
    • ‘Noticing that his sunglasses were all misted up she yanked them off his face, only to find his eyes wide, wet with tears.’
    • ‘So far that, when I parked in the town square by the fish 'n' chip shop, my spectacles misted up as I got out of my lovely, cold car into a very steamy evening.’
    • ‘In the wet conditions his visor had to be opened slightly so as not to mist up.’
    • ‘A blast of warmth hits me, and my glasses mist over instantly.’
    • ‘The dragon's breath misted up the warped glass window, dampening the gray curtains.’
    • ‘Christine said: ‘It was pouring down and my car had misted up.’’
    • ‘I leaned forward, so close to the silvered glass that my breath misted it slightly, partially obscuring my twin's mouth and nose.’
    • ‘She glanced around trying not to mist up the glass bubble she inhabited with nervous gulps for air.’
    • ‘The car seems to mist up easily if two people try and breathe simultaneously.’
    steam up, become misty, fog over, fog up, become covered with condensation, haze over, film over, cloud over, become cloudy, become blurred
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[no object](of a person's eyes) become covered with a film of tears causing blurred vision.
      ‘her eyes misted over with relief and joy’
      • ‘My eyes misted over a little as I unfolded my legs and walked over to her.’
      • ‘I could feel my eyes misting up, but I told them to stop.’
      • ‘Lest you think I don't like anything girly, I misted up during the Girlmore Girls last night, and right now I'm watching America's Next Top Model.’
      • ‘His eyes nearly misted over at the vision of his car-bonnet fantasy being flushed down the toilet.’
      • ‘Her eyes misted over a little and her smile drooped a little.’
      • ‘My brother's eyes misted over as he looked at the page.’
      • ‘Jill's eyes misted over, so she forced herself to look away.’
      • ‘I watched on TV as he shook hands with Kim Jong-il, and sentimental bastard that I am, I misted up.’
      • ‘It was torn at the top and Ben's eyes misted over as he realized what it was.’
      • ‘His eyes seemed to mist up a little before he turned to my sisters.’
      • ‘She tightened her hand around his as her eyes misted over.’
      • ‘With perfect wheels of cheese and crackers before me, I misted up a bit.’
      • ‘He ran a hand through his hair and his eyes misted over for a moment.’
      • ‘If my Latin teacher had misted up with the regularity Kline does in this film, we wouldn't have respected him, either.’
      • ‘Her eyes widened and suddenly misted with unshed tears.’
      • ‘Harriet eyes misted over with love for her daughters.’
      • ‘"I-I'm moving," Rachael stuttered, her eyes misting up.’
      • ‘I didn't know why, but I could feel my eyes misting up.’
      • ‘Either despite the vicious, senseless murder or because of it, viewers cannot help misting up a little as the two thugs make up.’
      • ‘Well, I've noticed that you have misted up on about a half dozen occasions over this past hour.’
    2. 1.2[with object]Spray (something, especially a plant) with a fine cloud of water droplets.
      ‘don't mist furry-leaved plants such as African violets’
      • ‘During the first year, mist the plants with water once a week, but after that nature will take over.’
      • ‘Then she mists the soil and covers it with wet paper towels.’
      • ‘Curls that have frizzed should be misted with water, spritzed with a styling spray and then scrunched in your hands.’
      • ‘Since indoor air is often low in humidity, misting the leaves on a daily basis will make your hibiscus happy.’
      • ‘From spring to autumn, give it plenty of water, mist the leaves occasionally and apply a liquid feed once a month.’
      • ‘Mist the plants every few days during dry conditions.’
      • ‘Keep their soil moist, but avoid overwatering - and, don't mist the foliage or flowers!’
      • ‘The shock of watering or misting a hot plant can cause foliage burn or leaf drop.’
      • ‘The best rule of thumb is to mist plants every few days with distilled water, and only water when the potting medium is nearly dry.’
      • ‘A couple weeks ago, while misting my fern, I glanced out the window and noticed two young men and a young woman taking boxes out of a moving van and walking toward the downstairs entrance of my unit.’
      • ‘When winter comes, you can keep the topiary either by moving it inside, if room permits, or by taking out the ivy and leaving the moss-covered frame outdoors, misting it occasionally.’
      • ‘Lightly mist them with water and give them some apple slices.’
      • ‘Using a spray bottle filled with water, lightly mist the fabric wrong side.’
      • ‘Inoculated seedlings were misted every 20 seconds for 2 days in a mist chamber and then transferred to the greenhouse.’
      • ‘Set your plant inside the pan of water and leave it for at least an hour, or until the basket is saturated, and mist the plants a time or two while they soak.’
      • ‘Whether you give the tree as a gift or use it to decorate your own home, be sure to mist the flowers and leaves with water every day.’
      • ‘I would labor to rescue them, misting the plant with a green plastic spray bottle every time I passed, a dozen times a day.’
      • ‘Because of this flexibility, timers can also be used to mist plants, using short cycles that repeat once or several times during the day.’
      • ‘Most homes don't provide enough humidity for Marantas to thrive; misting the plant's leaves is helpful, especially in the summer.’
      • ‘I took off my giant t-shirt and pressed the button that misted me.’


Old English, of Germanic origin; from an Indo-European root shared by Greek omikhlē mist, fog.