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 (mī-ăz′mə, mē-)
n. pl. mi·as·mas or mi·as·ma·ta (-mə-tə)
1. A noxious atmosphere or influence: "The family affection, the family expectations, seemed to permeate the atmosphere ... like a coiling miasma" (Louis Auchincloss).
a. A foul-smelling vapor arising from rotting organic matter, formerly thought to cause disease.
b. A thick vaporous atmosphere or emanation: wreathed in a miasma of cigarette smoke.

[Greek, pollution, stain, from miainein, to pollute.]

mi·as′mal, mi′as·mat′ic (mī′əz-măt′ĭk), mi·as′mic (-mĭk) adj.


n, pl -mata (-mətə) or -mas
1. an unwholesome or oppressive atmosphere
2. pollution in the atmosphere, esp noxious vapours from decomposing organic matter
[C17: New Latin, from Greek: defilement, from miainein to defile]
miˈasmal, miasmatic, ˌmiasˈmatical, miˈasmic adj


(maɪˈæz mə, mi-)

n., pl. -mas, -ma•ta (-mə tə)
1. noxious exhalations from putrescent organic matter; poisonous effluvia or germs polluting the atmosphere.
2. a dangerous, foreboding, or deathlike influence or atmosphere.
[1655–65; < New Latin < Greek míasma stain, pollution, derivative of miaínein to pollute, stain]
mi•as′mal, mi`as•mat′ic (-ˈmæt ɪk) mi`as•mat′i•cal, mi•as′mic, adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.miasma - an unwholesome atmospheremiasma - an unwholesome atmosphere; "the novel spun a miasma of death and decay"
ambiance, ambience, atmosphere - a particular environment or surrounding influence; "there was an atmosphere of excitement"
2.miasma - unhealthy vapors rising from the ground or other sources; "the miasma of the marshes"; "a miasma of cigar smoke"
air pollution - pollution of the atmosphere; "air pollution reduced the visibility"


noun unwholesomeness, smell, pollution, odour, stench, reek, effluvium, niff (Brit. slang), mephitis, fetor a thick black poisonous miasma which hung over the area


[mɪˈæzmə] N (miasmas or miasmata (pl)) [mɪˈæzmətə]miasma m


n pl <miasmata or miasmas> → Miasma nt
References in classic literature ?
These appearances, which bewilder you, are merely electrical phenomena not uncommon--or it may be that they have their ghastly origin in the rank miasma of the tarn.
There was an earthy smell, as of some dry miasma, which came through the fouler air.
Although this story is concerned principally with the Man and the Maid, the Miasma pervades it to such an extent that I feel justified in putting his name on the bills.
I had to when you accused me of being like our friend the Miasma.
The historic atmosphere was there, certainly; but the historic atmosphere, scientifically considered, was no better than a villainous miasma.
Even the doctor could hope to escape its effects only by rising above the range of the miasma that exhales from this damp region whence the blazing rays of the sun pump up its poisonous vapors.
A few of the pirates leant over the bulwarks, drinking in the miasma [putrid mist] of the night; others sprawled by barrels over games of dice and cards; and the exhausted four who had carried the little house lay prone on the deck, where even in their sleep they rolled skillfully to this side or that out of Hook's reach, lest he should claw them mechanically in passing.
The attacks of illness which arise from miasma never fail to appear most mysterious.
Is this owing to the state of the body during sleep, or to a greater abundance of miasma at such times?
Winds would carry this toxic miasma over Afghanistan and its large U.
There's no doubting that director Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) can orchestrate a miasma of dazzling computer-generated visuals to a pounding rock soundtrack.
The confusion is one more example of a system that appears seriously challenged by numbers that shift and churn in a constant statistical miasma.