One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A set of climatic conditions which are most favourable for a particular species or for human comfort and health (rare).
2Palaeontology and Archaeology any of various historical or (usually) prehistoric periods characterized by comparatively warm and dry conditions compared to the preceding and following periods, specifically (also "Climatic Optimum") such a period which occurred in northern latitudes in the early Holocene, after the last glaciation (approx. 9000 to 5000 years ago, but varying with location).
Early 20th century; earliest use found in Frederic Edward Clements (1874–1945).
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