the gaseous envelope surrounding the earth; the air.
this medium at a given place.
Astronomy. the gaseous envelope surrounding a heavenly body.
Chemistry. any gaseous envelope or medium.
a conventional unit of pressure, the normal pressure of the air at sea level, about 14.7 pounds per square inch (101.3 kilopascals), equal to the pressure exerted by a column of mercury 29.92 inches (760 mm) high. Abbreviation: atm.
a surrounding or pervading mood, environment, or influence: an atmosphere of impending war; a very tense atmosphere.
the dominant mood or emotional tone of a work of art, as of a play or novel: the chilly atmosphere of a ghost story.
a distinctive quality, as of a place; character: The old part of town has lots of atmosphere.
verb (used with object), atmosphered, atmosphering.
to give an atmosphere to: The author had cleverly atmosphered the novel for added chills.

1630–40; < Neo-Latin atmosphaera. See atmo-, -sphere

atmosphereless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
atmosphere (ˈætməsˌfɪə)
1.  troposphere stratosphere mesosphere See also ionosphere the gaseous envelope surrounding the earth or any other celestial body
2.  the air or climate in a particular place: the atmosphere was thick with smoke
3.  a general pervasive feeling or mood: an atmosphere of elation
4.  the prevailing tone or mood of a novel, symphony, painting, or other work of art
5.  a special mood or character associated with a place
6.  any local gaseous environment or medium: an inert atmosphere
7.  at, Abbreviation: atm a unit of pressure; the pressure that will support a column of mercury 760 mm high at 0°C at sea level. 1 atmosphere is equivalent to 101 325 newtons per square metre or 14.72 pounds per square inch

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1630s, from Mod.L. atmosphaera, from atmo-, comb. form of Gk. atmos "vapor, steam" + spharia "sphere." First used in Eng. in connection with the Moon, which, as it turns out, doesn't have one. Figurative sense of "surrounding influence, mental or moral environment" is 1797. Gk. atmos is from PIE *awet-mo-,
from base *wet- "to blow, inspire, spiritually arouse" (see wood (adj.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

atmosphere at·mos·phere (āt'mə-sfǐr')

  1. A gas surrounding a given body; a gaseous medium.

  2. Abbr. atm, atm. A unit of pressure equal to the air pressure at sea level, approximately equal to 1.01325 × 105 newtons per square meter.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
atmosphere  [%PREMIUM_LINK%]     (āt'mə-sfîr')  Pronunciation Key 

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  1. The mixture of gases surrounding the Earth or other celestial body, held in place by gravity. It forms distinct layers at different heights. The Earth's atmosphere consists, in ascending order, of the troposphere (containing 90% of the atmosphere's mass), the stratosphere, the mesosphere, the thermosphere, and the exosphere. The atmosphere is composed primarily of nitrogen (78%) and oxygen (21%) and plays a major role in the water cycle, the nitrogen cycle, and the carbon cycle. See more at exosphere, mesosphere, stratosphere, thermosphere, troposphere.

  2. A unit of pressure equal to the pressure of the air at sea level, about 14.7 pounds per square inch, or 1,013 millibars.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

atmosphere definition

The blanket of gas on the surface of a planet or satellite.

Note: The atmosphere of the Earth is roughly eighty percent nitrogen and twenty percent oxygen, with traces of other gases. (See ionosphere, stratosphere, and troposphere.)
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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