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mofette

[moh-fet; French maw-fet] /moʊˈfɛt; French mɔˈfɛt/
noun
1.
a noxious emanation, consisting chiefly of carbon dioxide, escaping from the earth in regions of nearly extinct volcanic activity.
2.
one of the openings or fissures from which this emanation issues.
Also, moffette.
Origin
1815-1825
1815-25; < French < Italian moffetta (Neapolitan mufeta), equivalent to muff(a) (Upper Italian mofa) mould (< Langobardic; compare German Muff mould, late Middle High German müffeln to give off a foul smell) + -etta -etta
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for mofette

mofette

/məʊˈfɛt/
noun
1.
an opening in a region of nearly extinct volcanic activity, through which carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and other gases pass
Word Origin
C19: from French, from Neapolitan Italian mofeta; compare dialect German muffezen to smell fetid
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for mofette

fumarole, or gaseous volcanic vent, that has a temperature well below the boiling point of water, though above the temperature of the surrounding air, and that is generally rich in carbon dioxide and perhaps methane and other hydrocarbons. When the winds are right, the issuing gases may drift and settle into nearby hollows or small valleys and cause the asphyxiation of animals and birds wandering in the areas. Such potentially deadly hollows have been noted in the Absaroka Range near Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, U.S., and at the base of Iceland's Hekla volcano.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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