from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A noxious atmosphere or influence: "The family affection, the family expectations, seemed to permeate the atmosphere . . . like a coiling miasma” ( Louis Auchincloss).
- n. A poisonous atmosphere formerly thought to rise from swamps and putrid matter and cause disease.
- n. A thick vaporous atmosphere or emanation: wreathed in a miasma of cigarette smoke.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A noxious atmosphere or influence.
- n. A noxious atmosphere or emanation once thought to originate from swamps and waste to cause disease.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Infectious particles or germs floating in the air; air made noxious by the presence of such particles or germs; noxious effluvia; malaria.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The emanations or effluvia arising from the ground and floating in the atmosphere, considered to be infectious or otherwise injurious to health; noxious emanations; malaria. Also called aërial poison.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. unhealthy vapors rising from the ground or other sources
- n. an unwholesome atmosphere
Greek, pollution, stain, from miainein, to pollute.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
First attested in 1665. From Ancient Greek μίασμα (miasma) "stain, pollution". (Wiktionary)