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[trop-uh-sfeer, troh-puh-] /ˈtrɒp əˌsfɪər, ˈtroʊ pə-/
noun, Meteorology
the lowest layer of the atmosphere, 6 miles (10 km) high in some areas and as much as 12 miles (20 km) high in others, within which there is a steady drop in temperature with increasing altitude and within which nearly all cloud formations occur and weather conditions manifest themselves.
Origin of troposphere
1905-10; tropo- + sphere
Related forms
[trop-uh-sfer-ik, -sfeer-, troh-puh-] /ˌtrɒp əˈsfɛr ɪk, -ˈsfɪər-, ˌtroʊ pə-/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for troposphere
Historical Examples
  • Investigators have noted the importance of rain or snow in washing fallout particles from the air in the troposphere.

    Atoms, Nature, and Man Neal O. Hines
  • Here, well above the troposphere, the air was thin and always clear.

    Islands of Space John W Campbell
  • In distinction from the stratosphere, the part of the atmosphere lying below it is called the troposphere.

    Meteorology Charles Fitzhugh Talman
  • At last Ken leveled off in the troposphere, at an altitude of five miles.

    Fly By Night Arthur Dekker Savage
  • The dense reaches of the troposphere—the weather belt where storms are born—dropped below them.

    First on the Moon Jeff Sutton
  • Below this level is the troposphere, the turbulent zone of clouds, rain, and fog.

    Atoms, Nature, and Man Neal O. Hines
British Dictionary definitions for troposphere


the lowest atmospheric layer, about 18 kilometres (11 miles) thick at the equator to about 6 km (4 miles) at the Poles, in which air temperature decreases normally with height at about 6.5°C per km
Derived Forms
tropospheric (ˌtrɒpəˈsfɛrɪk) adjective
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 troposphere

1914, from French troposphère, literally "sphere of change," coined by French meteorologist Philippe Teisserenc de Bort (1855-1913) from Greek tropos "a turn, change" (see trope) + sphaira "sphere" (see sphere).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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troposphere in Science
  (trō'pə-sfîr', trŏp'ə-)   
The lowest and densest region of the Earth's atmosphere, extending from the Earth's surface to the tropopause. The troposphere is characterized by temperatures that decrease with increasing altitude. At the top of this region, temperatures are close to -55°C (-67°F). The weather, major wind systems, and cloud formations occur mostly in the troposphere. See also exosphere, mesosphere, stratosphere, thermosphere., See illustration at atmosphere.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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troposphere in Culture
troposphere [(troh-puh-sfeer, trop-uh-sfeer)]

The lowest layer of the atmosphere of the Earth, extending from ground level to an altitude of seven to ten miles.

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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