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[am-bee-uh ns; French ahn-byahns] /ˈæm bi əns; French ɑ̃ˈbyɑ̃s/
noun, plural ambiances
[am-bee-uh n-siz; French ahn-byahns] /ˈæm bi ən sɪz; French ɑ̃ˈbyɑ̃s/ (Show IPA)
the mood, character, quality, tone, atmosphere, etc., particularly of an environment or milieu:
The restaurant had a delightful ambiance.
that which surrounds or encompasses; environment.
Also, ambience.
< French, equivalent to ambi(ant) surrounding (Middle French, also ambient < Latin; see ambient) + -ance -ance
1. See environment. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for ambiance
  • The walls enclose an area of less than a square mile that now restricts vehicle traffic to preserve the ancient ambiance.
  • All serve excellent food, and are also noteworthy for their attractive interiors and sophisticated ambiance.
  • Figures are somehow both earthy and otherworldly, a combination that underscores the ambiance of Campbell's mellifluous narrative.
  • The town has strict building codes, aimed at controlling development and preserving a casual beach shack ambiance.
  • Its exterior fit in with the rustic ambiance.
  • It offers a small college ambiance in a technologically advanced university setting.
  • In golf, jockeying is more subtle, in keeping with the sport's courteous ambiance.
  • Ratings reflect the reviewer's reaction to food, ambiance and service with price taken into consideration.
  • But in some cases, practical concerns have won out over ambiance.
  • Gas lighting produces a nice ambiance.
British Dictionary definitions for ambiance


/ˈæmbɪəns; French ɑ̃bjɑ̃s/
the atmosphere of a place
Word Origin
C19: from French ambiance, from ambiant surrounding; see ambient
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ambiance

1923, a reborrowing of the French form of ambience, used in art writing as a term meaning "atmospheric effect of an arrangement" (see ambient).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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