1. The meteorological conditions, including temperature, precipitation, and wind, that characteristically prevail in a particular region.
2. A region of the earth having particular meteorological conditions: lives in a cold climate.
3. A prevailing condition or set of attitudes in human affairs: a climate of unrest.
[Middle English climat, from Old French, from Late Latin clima, climat-, from Greek klima, surface of the earth, region; see klei- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendicies
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.