Definition of climate noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈklaɪmət//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈklaɪmət//
    The Earth and the atmosphere, Waste and pollution
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  1. 1  [countable, uncountable] the regular pattern of weather conditions of a particular place a mild/temperate/warm/wet climate the harsh climate of the Arctic regions Wordfinderclimate, earth, equator, equinox, hemisphere, International Date Line, latitude, map, planet, tropic Wordfinderarid, climate, continental climate, equatorial, frigid, harsh, humidity, rainfall, tropical, zone CultureweatherThe popular view of the British weather is that it rains all the time. This is not true and Britain gets no more rain in an average year than several other European countries. In some summers the country goes for weeks with nothing more than a shower (= short period of rain). Perhaps the main characteristic of Britain's weather is that it is hard to predict. This is probably why people regularly listen to weather forecasts on radio and television. However, the weather forecasters are sometimes wrong.The British are not used to extremes. In summer the temperature rarely goes higher than 30°C (86° F). Heatwaves (= periods of very hot weather) are greeted with newspaper headlines such as ‘Phew! What a scorcher!’ In winter the south and west are fairly mild (= warm). The east and north get much colder, with hard frosts and snow. A cold snap (= period of very cold weather) or heavy falls of snow can bring transport to a halt.Samuel Johnson observed that ‘when two Englishmen meet their first talk is of the weather’, and this is still true. The weather is a safe, polite and impersonal topic of conversation. Most British people would agree that bright sunny weather, not too hot and with enough rain to water their gardens, is good. Bad weather usually means dull days with a lot of cloud and rain or, in winter, fog or snow. The British tend to expect the worst as far as the weather is concerned and it is part of national folklore (= traditional belief) that summer bank holidays will be wet. It may be pouring with rain, teeming down, bucketing, or even just drizzling or spitting, but it will be wet.The US is large enough to have several different climates, and so the weather varies between regions. In winter the temperature in New York state is often −8° C (17° F) or lower; in the summer in Arizona it is often above 40° C (104° F). Arizona gets less than an inch/2.5 centimetres of rain most months; the state of Washington, DC can get 6 inches/15 centimetres. The Northeast and Midwest have cold winters with a lot of snow, and summers that are very hot and humid (= with a lot of water in the air). The South has hot, humid summers but moderate winters. The Southwest, including Arizona and New Mexico, is dry and warm in the winter and very hot in the summer. Some parts of the US suffer tornadoes (= strong circular winds) and hurricanes.In autumn people put storm doors and windows on their houses, an extra layer of glass to keep out the cold wind. Cities in the snow belt (= the north eastern and midwestern states that get a lot of snow) have several snow days each winter, days when people do not go to school or work. But then snow ploughs clear the roads and life goes on, even when the weather is bad.In the US it is considered boring to talk about the weather, but some phrases are often heard. In the summer people ask, ‘Is it hot enough for you?’ or say that the street is ‘hot enough to fry an egg’. When it rains they say ‘Nice day if you're a duck’, or that they do not mind the rain because ‘the farmers need it’.Many people in Britain and the US, as elsewhere, are worried about global warming (= an increase in temperature in the earth's atmosphere) due to emissions from vehicles and factories of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) and any climatic changes this may cause. See related entries: The Earth and the atmosphere, Waste and pollution
  2. 2  [countable] an area with particular weather conditions They wanted to move to a warmer climate.
  3. 3  [countable] a general attitude or feeling; an atmosphere or a situation which exists in a particular place the present political climate the current climate of opinion (= what people generally are thinking about a particular issue) a climate of suspicion/violence We need to create a climate in which business can prosper.
  4. Word Originlate Middle English: from Old French climat or late Latin clima, climat-, from Greek klima ‘slope, zone’, from klinein ‘to slope’. The term originally denoted a zone of the earth between two lines of latitude, then any region of the earth, and later, a region considered with reference to its atmospheric conditions. Compare with clime.Extra examples His ideas on equality are viewed as utopian in the current political climate. Little grows in such a dry climate. The city has a warm climate. The new policies have created a climate of fear. a climate for economic recovery a set of ideas that challenge the prevailing climate of pessimism global climate change the severe northern climate He admitted that the economic climate has rarely been worse. Such a move seems unlikely in the current political climate. The crisis produced a climate far less favourable to redevelopment. There’s been a change in the climate of opinion. They hope this will provide the right climate for social change. a temperate/​tropical climate
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: climate