The definition of miasma is steam rising from rotting vegetable or animal matter.
An example of miasma is vapor from a compost pile.
nounpl. -·mas or -·mata
- a vapor rising as from marshes or decomposing animal or vegetable matter: formerly supposed to poison and infect the air, causing malaria, etc.
- an unwholesome or befogging atmosphere, influence, etc.
Origin of miasmaModern Latin from Gr, pollution from miainein, to pollute from Indo-European base an unverified form mai- from source Old English mal, a spot
nounpl. mi·as·mas, or mi·as·ma·ta
- A noxious atmosphere or influence: “The family affection, the family expectations, seemed to permeate the atmosphere … like a coiling miasma” ( Louis Auchincloss )
- a. A foul-smelling vapor arising from rotting organic matter, formerly thought to cause disease.b. A thick vaporous atmosphere or emanation: wreathed in a miasma of cigarette smoke.
Origin of miasmaGreek pollution, stain from miainein to pollute
- mi·as′mal mi′as·mat′ic mi·as′mic
(plural miasmas or miasmata)
First attested in 1665. From Ancient Greek Î¼Î¯Î±ÏƒÎ¼Î± (miasma) (miasma) "stain, pollution".