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