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[mahy-az-muh, mee-] /maɪˈæz mə, mi-/
noun, plural miasmas, miasmata
[mahy-az-muh-tuh, mee-] /maɪˈæz mə tə, mi-/ (Show IPA)
noxious exhalations from putrescent organic matter; poisonous effluvia or germs polluting the atmosphere.
a dangerous, foreboding, or deathlike influence or atmosphere.
Origin of miasma
1655-65; < New Latin < Greek míasma stain, pollution, akin to miaínein to pollute, stain
Related forms
miasmal, miasmatic
[mahy-az-mat-ik] /ˌmaɪ æzˈmæt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
miasmatical, miasmic, adjective
unmiasmal, adjective
unmiasmatic, adjective
unmiasmatical, adjective
unmiasmic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for miasmatic


noun (pl) -mata (-mətə), -mas
an unwholesome or oppressive atmosphere
pollution in the atmosphere, esp noxious vapours from decomposing organic matter
Derived Forms
miasmal, miasmatic (ˌmiːəzˈmætɪk), miasmatical, miasmic, adjective
Word Origin
C17: New Latin, from Greek: defilement, from miainein to defile
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 miasmatic



1660s, from Modern Latin miasma "noxious vapors," from Greek miasma (genitive miasmatos) "stain, pollution, defilement, taint of guilt," from stem of miainein "to pollute," from possible PIE root *mai- "to stain, soil, defile" (cf. Old English mal "stain, mark," see mole (n.1)). Earlier form was miasm (1640s), from French miasme. Related: Miasmatic; miasmal.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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