Word of the Week: Miasma


Word of the Week MiasmaA day late due to my introductory post for Camp NaNoWriMo going up yesterday (since yesterday was of course July 1st), but this weeks word of the week is a word that I really love. It’s a word that we learnt during GCSE English, and even though it’s kind of a clichéd word, I still like it.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a Miasma is a term used to describe “an unpleasant or unhealthy atmosphere.” It can also mean a really foul stench or odour.

However, I love the literary meaning which says that the word is used to describe a sense of foreboding. This basically means an atmosphere that predicts something bad is going to home, stereotypically this is portrayed literally by stormy weather and dark clouds.

The term derives, unchanged, first from the Modern Latin word meaning “noxious gases”, which itself came from the Greek, meaning something that is “polluted” or “tainted by guilt”. The meaning of the word certainly hasn’t changed, at all, throughout history, and the word has been in existence since the mid-17th Century.





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