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


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".


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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

  • Labor hides itself in every mode and form... it keeps the cow out of the garden, the rain out of the library, the miasma out of the town.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Perpetual Forces"

    July 24, 2011

  • "He had an unexpected sense that this Land might offer him some spell with which he could conjure away his impotence, some rebirth to which he could cling even after he regained consciousness, after the Land and all its insane implications faded into the miasma of half-remembered dreams."

    Lord Foul's Bane

    July 29, 2012