climate

\ \ [14] The notion underlying climate is of ‘sloping’ or ‘leaning’. It comes, via Old French climat or late Latin clīma (whence English clime [16]), from Greek klīmasloping surface of the earth’, which came ultimately from the same source (the Indo-European base *kli-) as produced English lean. Greek geographers assigned the earth’s surface to various zones according to the angle which their ‘slope’ made with the rays of the sun (originally there were seven of these, ranging from 17 degrees of latitude North to 48 degrees, but later the system was elaborated so that each hemisphere was divided into 24 bands or ‘climates’ of latitude).
\ \ This was the sense in which the word passed into Latin, where it broadened out into simply ‘region’, and hence ‘weather associated with a particular area’.
\ \ Cf.LADDER, LEAN

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • climate — developed its figurative meaning ‘the prevailing trend of opinion or public feeling’ as early as the 17c, despite its modern ring. Examples: • The whole climate of thought will be different George Orwell, 1949 • We must…take account of the… …   Modern English usage

  • climate — [klī′mət] n. [ME climat < OFr < LL clima < Gr klima, region, zone < base of klinein, to slope (see INCLINE): orig., slope of the earth from the equator toward the poles] 1. the prevailing or average weather conditions of a place, as… …   English World dictionary

  • climate — [n1] weather of region altitude, aridity, atmospheric conditions, characteristic weather, clime, conditions, humidity, latitude, meteorological character, meteorologic conditions, temperature; concept 524 climate [n2] mood of situation ambience,… …   New thesaurus

  • Climate — Cli mate, v. i. To dwell. [Poetic] Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Climate — Cli mate, n. [F. climat, L. clima, atis, fr. Gr. ?, ?, slope, the supposed slope of the earth (from the equator toward the pole), hence a region or zone of the earth, fr. ? to slope, incline, akin to E. lean, v. i. See {Lean}, v. i., and cf.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • climate — late 14c., Scottish, from O.Fr. climat, from L. clima (gen. climatis) region, slope of the Earth, from Gk. klima region, zone, from root of klinein to slope, thus slope of the Earth from equator to pole, from PIE root *klei to lean (see LEAN (Cf …   Etymology dictionary

  • climate — ► NOUN 1) the general weather conditions prevailing in an area over a long period. 2) a prevailing trend or public attitude. DERIVATIVES climatology noun climatological adjective. ORIGIN originally denoting a zone of the earth between two lines… …   English terms dictionary

  • Climate — For other uses, see Climate (disambiguation). Worldwide Climate Classifications Climate encompasses the statistics of temperature …   Wikipedia

  • climate — /kluy mit/, n. 1. the composite or generally prevailing weather conditions of a region, as temperature, air pressure, humidity, precipitation, sunshine, cloudiness, and winds, throughout the year, averaged over a series of years. 2. a region or… …   Universalium

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