Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Surrounding; encircling: ambient sound; ambient air.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Encompassing on all sides; surrounding; encircling; enveloping.
  • adj. Evoking or creating an atmosphere: atmospheric.
  • adj. Relating to, or suitable for, storage at room temperature.
  • n. Something that surrounds.
  • n. A type of modern music which incorporates elements of various musical styles, and creates a relaxing and peaceful atmosphere.
  • n. The atmosphere; the surrounding air or sky; plural atmospheric components collectively such as air, clouds, water vapour, hail, etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Encompassing on all sides; circumfused; investing.
  • n. Something that surrounds or invests.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Surrounding; encompassing on all sides; investing: applied to aëriform fluids or diffusible substances.
  • Moving round; circling about.
  • n. That which encompasses on all sides, as a sphere or the atmosphere.
  • n. A canvasser, a suitor, or an aspirant.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. completely enveloping

Etymologies

Latin ambiēns, ambient-, present participle of ambīre, to surround : amb-, ambi-, around; see ambi- + īre, to go; see ei- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin ambiens ("going around"), from ambiō ("go around"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Just finished this book: five hundred pages of almost everything loosely associable with the term ambient music in the twentieth century.

    Mina, Mina....

  • I would also fathom to think that if you did allow a bit of time to elapse that it may have got warmer or cooler in ambient air temp.

    Bullets Do Odd Things at Different Ranges

  • Perhaps in major cities such as Monterrey or Mexico City or Guadalajara or Veracruz, etc., the ambient is different.

    Monterrey Help Please

  • I suggest that these broad, asynchronous, lightweight and always-on systems are enabling citizens to maintain a mental model of news and events around them, giving rise to awareness systems that I describe as ambient journalism.

    Reportr.net

  • "realtime search," as the consumption of this signal will predominantly be in what I call ambient streams.

    Original Signal - The best of Web 2.0

  • Cluster, Robert Fripp, Kevin Ayers, Jon Hassell and Harold Budd, as stern futurist mentor to Devo and Ultravox, as discerning curator of the beautifully conceived contemporary music label Obscure, as careful discoverer of the pulseless, wordless, eventless, timeless music he lovingly called "ambient" - that pop music was where you could be the kind of artist he wanted to be.

    The Guardian World News

  • a term coined by Lisa Reichelt (in short, ambient intimacy is about being able to keep in touch with people with a level of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn't usually have access to, because time and space conspire to make it impossible).

    Kristine Lowe

  • "Salvaging" is awash with layered guitars until the arrival of a gorgeous orchestral interlude that's too rich to be called ambient music.

    Prog Rock of Epic Ambition

  • Until now, The Fireman's work -- "Strawberries Oceans Ships Forest" (Capitol), released in 1993, and "Rushes" (Capitol), issued five years later -- could be classified as ambient dance music: Electronic pulses provide the underpinning to repeating themes punctuated by percussion, shouts and exclamations, though if you listen carefully you can hear the occasional fragment of a McCartney recording.

    Paul McCartney's Latest Collaboration

  • The recommendations for water protection are known as ambient water quality criteria.

    Exposure standards and guidelines

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