Saturday, April 25, 2015

Word of the day: miasma

The word of the day is miasma:

  1. noxious exhalations from putrescent organic matter; poisonous effluvia or germs polluting the atmosphere.
  2. a dangerous, foreboding, or deathlike influence or atmosphere.

from Gk. miasma (gen. miasmatos) "stain, pollution," related to miainein "to pollute" (<a href=""></a>)

"Now staff and volunteers—mostly children and spouses of medical workers who had sought shelter at the hospital—hunched over the infirm, dispensing sips of water and fanning the miasma with bits of cardboard."

 - Sheri Fink, Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital (2013)

No comments: