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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


noun unwholesomeness, smell, pollution, odour, stench, reek, effluvium, niff (Brit. slang), mephitis, fetor a thick black poisonous miasma which hung over the area
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


[mɪˈæzmə] N (miasmas or miasmata (pl)) [mɪˈæzmətə]miasma m
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


n pl <miasmata or miasmas> → Miasma nt
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
References in classic literature ?
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?
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. Legitimate self-defence.'
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.
There was an earthy smell, as of some dry miasma, which came through the fouler air.
"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.
The historic atmosphere was there, certainly; but the historic atmosphere, scientifically considered, was no better than a villainous miasma. Winterbourne walked to the middle of the arena, to take a more general glance, intending thereafter to make a hasty retreat.
In the instance where three years intervened between the flinging of the two harpoons; and I think it may have been something more than that; the man who darted them happening, in the interval, to go in a trading ship on a voyage to Africa, went ashore there, joined a discovery party, and penetrated far into the interior, where he travelled for a period of nearly two years, often endangered by serpents, savages, tigers, poisonous miasmas, with all the other common perils incident to wandering in the heart of unknown regions.
Of the tropes that Morton employs in investigating Shelley's texts and the texts of earlier writers on natural diet, Morton's considerations of tropes of dismemberment, the cry of nature, miasma, and circulation actually work very well--despite their being embedded frequently in nearly indecipherable sentences--to clarify the discourse of nature and culture operative in Shelley's time.
An example of faith over science was the belief that a miasma or 'bad air' caused malaria and cholera.