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

  • n. Electromagnetic radiation produced by natural phenomena such as lightning.
  • n. Radio interference produced by electromagnetic radiation. Also called sferics.
  • n. Features, events, or statements intended to create a particular mood or attitude: "[This book] is full of fiction unconcerned with spooky atmospherics or suspense; most of the collection's stories are about cruel humans and the violence they commit” ( Ken Tucker).
  • n. The mood or attitude so created.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. radio interference caused by pulses of electromagnetic radiation in the atmosphere as the result of lightning and other events (both natural and man-made)

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The study of atmospheres and of all their phenomena; meteorology.

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

  • n. a crackling or hissing noise caused by electrical interference


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Mr. Baker has raised plenty of money and run hard, but his inexperience with political atmospherics is reflected in steadily rising disapproval ratings.

    Deval Patrick's Charm Offensive

  • Those changes included the restructuring of how contractors gather what is known as "atmospherics," like the tone of Friday sermons at a mosque, or the mood on the street of a village toward a local official or NATO.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • And many of his troubles involve what political operatives call 'atmospherics' -- the very stuff a PR professional is supposed to manage.

    DeMorning DeBonis: July 15, 2010

  • Often they're dull and tell the interviewers little they didn't already know; sometimes, though, they give insight to "atmospherics" - how Afghan locals feel about US forces or the Taliban.

    MoJo Blogs and Articles | Mother Jones

  • The contractors were supposed to provide only broad information about the political and tribal dynamics in the region - called "atmospherics" - and "force protection" information that might protect American troops from attack, the officials said.

    NYT > Home Page

  • The atmospherics are a very Dickensian prelude to some imminent human violence in Martin Chuzzlewit, published in 1844.

    Weatherwatch: A storm is brewing

  • Final Fantasy), is sonically bigger than its predecessors, thanks in part to some swirly atmospherics from the Czech Symphony Strings.

    NPR Topics: News

  • "The bilateral relationship is still in deep trouble but the atmospherics are a bit better," said Bruce Riedel, a former CIA analyst who has advised the Obama administration on policy in the region.

    Reuters: Press Release

  • Yet, although he does not have charts or graphs to prove it, Resnick, 27, insists that he also sees what the military calls changed "atmospherics": busy stores and streets, tea served to U.S. soldiers.

    From Kandahar, a different view of war

  • I would also recommend several books that capture some of the "atmospherics" of the era:

    Kenneth C. Davis: Robert McNamara and Vietnam: A Basic Reading List


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