- noun a mass of gases surrounding the earth or any astronomical object such as a planet or star
- noun a unit of measurement of pressure, equal to 101 325 pascals or equal to a height of 760 mm of mercury
- Any gaseous layer surrounding a solid object such as a planet, or a star. Atmospheres in the solar system include the Earth’s, which is the only one to include free oxygen and has been shaped by living matter, as well as that of Venus, which is massively corrosive and acidic, and those of the gas giants, whose atmospheres make up a large percentage of their total volume. The atmosphere of the Sun is highly active and energetic, with strong magnetic fields shaping its component parts.
- The gaseous envelope surrounding the earth, consisting of the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, and thermosphere, although there are other criteria utilized to describe its various layers. The mixture of gases composing it is called air, and at sea level dry air is approximately 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 0.9% argon, and some other components in lesser amounts.
- A unit of pressure intended to equal the pressure of the earth's atmosphere at sea level. One atmosphere equals 101.325 kilopascals, or 760 torr. Its abbreviation is atm. Also called standard atmosphere.
- noun the general feeling in a shop or shopping area
- noun the effect that the medium itself through which an advertisement is presented has on the audience
- noun the general feeling at a party or in a place, etc.
- the condition of the air around a plant. If the atmosphere is too damp, diseases such as blights and moulds spread rapidly; if the atmosphere is too dry, buds fall off and leaves shrivel.
- a unit of measure of pressure, equal to 14.7 pounds per square inch, used to measure the pressure inside a bottle of sparkling wine or Champagne. Most commercial sparkling wines such as Champagne or Cava contain between four and six atmospheres of carbon dioxide gas at room temperature.
Origin & History of “atmosphere”
Etymologically, atmosphere means ‘ball of vapour’. It was coined as modern Latin atmosphaera from Greek atmós ‘vapour’ (related to áein ‘blow’, ultimate source of English air) and sphaira ‘sphere’. Its original application was not, as we would now understand it, to the envelope of air encompassing the Earth, but to a mass of gas exhaled from and thus surrounding a planet; indeed, in the first record of the word’s use in English, in 1638, it was applied to the moon, which of course is now known to have no atmosphere. The denotation of the word moved forward with the development of meteorological knowledge.