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[mahy-az-muh, mee-] /maɪˈæz mə, mi-/

noun, plural miasmas, miasmata
[mahy-az-muh-tuh, mee-] /maɪˈæz mə tə, mi-/ (Show IPA)
noxious exhalations from putrescent organic matter; poisonous effluvia or germs polluting the atmosphere.
a dangerous, foreboding, or deathlike influence or atmosphere.
noun (pl) -mata (-mətə), -mas
an unwholesome or oppressive atmosphere
pollution in the atmosphere, esp noxious vapours from decomposing organic matter

1660s, from Modern Latin miasma “noxious vapors,” from Greek miasma (genitive miasmatos) “stain, pollution, defilement, taint of guilt,” from stem of miainein “to pollute,” from possible PIE root *mai- “to stain, soil, defile” (cf. Old English mal “stain, mark,” see mole (n.1)). Earlier form was miasm (1640s), from French miasme. Related: Miasmatic; miasmal.


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