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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 periodicals archive ?
It is said that neither night nor day witnessed his absence from the depositories of diocese, until at length kneeling over the bed of infection, and listening to the sorrows of some poor penitent, he inhaled the miasmata of death.