Definition of ambient in US English:



  • 1attributive Relating to the immediate surroundings of something.

    ‘the liquid is stored at below ambient temperature’
    • ‘The 24 seedlings of each treatment were placed in one of two custom-designed root boxes capable of controlling root temperatures, while the shoots were exposed to the ambient greenhouse environment.’
    • ‘Depending on soil type, questions of water usage and ambient temperature times determine the longevity and performance of soil/water combinations.’
    • ‘Limited rainfall, high ambient temperatures, and a highly variable physical environment characterize Turkana district.’
    • ‘All of these headphones use tiny microphones mounted on or inside the headset to pick up the ambient noise just before you hear it.’
    • ‘You haven't even been in the train long enough to feel the ambient temperature.’
    • ‘Wide metal door sills and soft-blue ambient lighting welcome you into the car.’
    • ‘The problem that Nasa has is that the electrical charging and heating effects caused by ambient particle radiation can disturb the delicate measurements needed to detect these effects.’
    • ‘The hatchlings normally emerge after a period of about 45-55 days depending upon the ambient sand temperature and climatic conditions.’
    • ‘On balance, having regard to the ambient background noise, I consider that the additional vehicle movements would not generate such noise and disturbance as to unacceptably harm residents' amenities.’
    • ‘They read infrared radiation and are not affected by ambient light.’
    • ‘Due to the sharp difference between cooled and ambient air temperatures, people who move between them risk colds and heat stroke.’
    • ‘At the end of incubation, samples were allowed to cool down to room temperature under ambient conditions and always maintained in an aqueous environment.’
    • ‘Seasonal variation in the moon's path through the night sky changes the variance in ambient moonlight between proximate new moons and full moons.’
    • ‘Working in his back yard, aided by a schoolboy neighbor, he timed flashes and measured temperature and ambient light with equipment from the departmental storeroom.’
    • ‘Will operation in environments with significantly higher ambient temperatures cause a pump malfunction?’
    • ‘One of the primary differences in these two environments is the average ambient temperature, both in the day and night.’
    • ‘All tests were run with an ambient temperature of 20 degrees Celsius.’
    • ‘If you have underfloor heating throughout, you will enjoy a better all-round ambient temperature in every room, not just on the ground floor.’
    • ‘These should reduce your CPU temperature by at least 5 degrees centigrade in a 20 degrees centigrade ambient environment.’
    • ‘Current LCD displays on a wide range of applications can be difficult to read if the ambient light is too strong or the reader is not positioned in front of the screen.’
    1. 1.1 Relating to ambient music.
      • ‘To my ear, the remixes are fine examples of ambient dub.’
      • ‘Forsaking the oeuvres of boy bands, their coverage has so far been saturated with unobtrusively tuneful ambient dance music.’
      • ‘For those who aren't familiar with these projects, this collaborative release serves as an excellent introduction to a Danish collective that are doing some really impressive things with ambient guitar work at the moment.’
      • ‘Harp arpeggios, ambient sounds, a typewriter and speech establish the mood.’


Late 16th century: from French ambiant or Latin ambient- ‘going round’, from ambire.