follow Dictionary.com

It’s about time. We are now on Instagram!

ambient

[am-bee-uh nt] /ˈæm bi ənt/
adjective
1.
of the surrounding area or environment:
The tape recorder picked up too many ambient noises. The temperature in the display case was 20° lower than the ambient temperature.
2.
completely surrounding; encompassing:
the ambient air.
3.
creating a certain reaction or mood, often a subconscious one, by being wherever people tend to be:
ambient advertising on a shopping cart.
4.
pertaining to or noting sounds that create a peaceful and relaxed atmosphere.
5.
pertaining to or noting close and constant social contact and communication fostered by the Internet or the use of digital devices:
social-networking sites that enable ambient intimacy and awareness.
noun
6.
ambient music (def 1).
Origin
1590-1600
1590-1600; (< Middle French) < Latin ambient- (stem of ambiēns, present participle of ambīre to go around), equivalent to amb- ambi- + -i- go + -ent- -ent
Related forms
unambient, adjective
unambiently, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for ambient
  • These focus ambient light on to the viewing area to brighten the screen.
  • The ambient light is natural daylight, and so the cases can be lit on very low levels.
  • These pointed spires, that wound the ambient sky.
  • Even the accompanying music and ambient sounds make you feel as if you are in Japan.
  • As the ambient pressure keeps falling, the trapped bubbles expand further and may block off an artery.
  • The reading in the voltmeter should be within the range for the ambient temperature if no trouble exists.
  • The headphones sample ambient noise and emit a signal to cancel the noise.
  • In cold-blooded animals, body cooling is easy--you merely drop the ambient temperature in their surroundings.
  • They're really ambient sounds designed to affect your brain waves.
  • When we read a paper book, the ambient light is reflected off the pages.
British Dictionary definitions for ambient

ambient

/ˈæmbɪənt/
adjective
1.
of or relating to the immediate surroundings: the ambient temperature was 15°C
2.
creating a relaxing atmosphere: ambient music
noun
3.
(informal) ambient music
Word Origin
C16: from Latin ambiēns going round, from ambīre, from ambi- + īre to go
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for ambient
adj.

1590s, "surrounding, encircling," from Latin ambientem (nominative ambiens) "going round," present participle of ambire "to go around," from amb- "around" (see ambi-) + ire "go" (see ion). The ground sense of "revolving" led to "encircling, lying all around."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
ambient in Medicine

ambient am·bi·ent (ām'bē-ənt)
adj.
Surrounding; encircling.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for ambient

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for ambient

11
14
Scrabble Words With Friends