Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A noxious atmosphere or influence.
  • noun A poisonous atmosphere formerly thought to rise from swamps and putrid matter and cause disease.
  • noun A thick vaporous atmosphere or emanation.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Infectious particles or germs floating in the air; air made noxious by the presence of such particles or germs; noxious effluvia; malaria.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A noxious atmosphere or influence.
  • noun A noxious atmosphere or emanation once thought to originate from swamps and waste to cause disease.

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

  • noun unhealthy vapors rising from the ground or other sources
  • noun an unwholesome atmosphere

Etymologies

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

[Greek, pollution, stain, from miainein, to pollute.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

First attested in 1665. From Ancient Greek μίασμα (miasma) "stain, pollution".

Examples

Comments

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  • The plural is listed as mismata.

    July 29, 2007

  • "It's miasma," he said breathlessly.

    January 14, 2008

  • I never see this word without thinking "fetid" in front of it.

    July 16, 2008

  • I object to mia part of it. No syllable of mine should ever be constrained to be a constituent part of such an ugly-smelling word, ugh. Mia smells like roses.

    July 17, 2008

  • "Seamus, why are ya weezin'?"

    "Ach, it's miasma."

    July 17, 2008

  • HA!!

    July 17, 2008

  • That's what I always think when I see this word!

    July 22, 2008

  • ...endangered by serpents, savages, tigers, poisonous miasmas, with all the other common perils incident to wandering in the heart of unknown regions.

    - Melville, Moby-Dick, ch. 45

    July 25, 2008

  • For some reason, this word reminds of smegma. :P

    August 24, 2008

  • Myasthma

    September 3, 2009