Todays Word: “miasma”

Word: miasma

PRONUNCIATION:

(my-AZ-muh, mee-)
plural miasmas, miasmata (my-AZ-muh-tuh, mee-)

MEANING:

noun:
1. Noxious emissions: smoke, vapors, etc., especially those from decaying organic matter.
2. An oppressive or unpleasant atmosphere.

NOTES:

Earlier it was believed that many diseases were caused by bad air from decomposing organic matter, as in a swamp. Malaria, for example, is named from Italian mala aria (bad air). The germ theory of disease has put the bad air theory to rest.

ETYMOLOGY:

From Greek miasma (pollution, defilement), from miainein (to pollute). Earliest documented use: 1665.

USAGE:

“A miasma of smoke from wildfires cloaked the sweltering Russian capital.”
Jim Heintz; Fires Lay Ghostly Shroud of Smoke on Moscow; Associated Press (New York); Aug 6, 2010.

“The region is still wobbling in the miasma of corruption.”
Bobi Odiko; Region Still Wobbling in Corruption; East African Business Week (Tanzania); Aug 4, 2010.

Explore “miasma” in the Visual Thesaurus.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s