miasm-, miasma-, miasmat-

(Greek: pollution, stain, contamination; to pollute, to defile, to corrupt)

idiomiasma, idio miasma (s) (noun); idiomiasmas, idio miasmas (pl)
1. A self-produced offensive odor: An idiomiasma can come from decaying (rotting) plants, dead animals, etc.
2. Human effluvia consisting of vapor or fumes: Some idiomiasmas are produced by odors of human decompositions (dead bodies) or excrements from sewers.
miasm (s) (noun), miasms (pl)
1. In homeopathy, a block to healing or a general weakness caused by a predisposition to a particular disease in someone or in his or her family that is transmitted down the generational chain.
2. Unhealthy vapors rising from the ground or other sources: Certain lakes are usually full of vegetable matter undergoing decomposition and they often produce large quantities of miasms.

This miasm unit is usually a spelling variation of "miasma".

miasma (s) (noun); miasmas (or) miasmata (pl)
1. Noxious exhalations from putrescent organic matter; poisonous effluvia, or germs polluting the air: There are some people in the past who thought poisonous atmospheres came from swamps and putrid matter; all of which caused diseases.
2. A thick, poisonous vapor or mist which is believed to be made up of particles from decomposing material that can cause illnesses and are identified by their foul odors: The people around the factory are concerned about the miasma that is coming from its chimneys through which smoke and gases are escaping.
3. Unhealthy vapors rising from the ground or from other sources: Shirley couldn't determine which was worse, the miasmas of the marshes or the miasmas of cigarette smoke in restaurants; because she considered both of them as pollutions of the air.
4. Any noxious environmental influences: There are miasmas of evil showing up in many parts of the world as indicated by terrorist attacks and other murders that are taking place.
5. Etymology: from Greek miasma, miasmatos, "stain, pollution" which is related to miainein, "to pollute".
A noxious influence or atmosphere.
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A pervasive influence that tends to corrupt.
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miasma theory of disease, miasmatic theory of disease (s) (nouns); miasma theories of diseases, miasmatic theories of diseases (pl)
An explanation of the origin of epidemics, based on the false notion that they were caused by air of bad quality; that is, emanating from rotting vegetation in marshes or swamps.

The miasmatic theory of disease apparently started in the Middle Ages and continued on into the mid 1800's, when it was used to explain the spread of cholera in London and in Paris, partly explaining Haussmann's latter renovation of the French capital.

Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann (March 27, 1809–January 11, 1891) was a French civic planner whose name is associated with the rebuilding of Paris. He was born in that city of a Protestant family from Alsace. The Haussmann Renovations, or Haussmannization of Paris was a work led under the initiative of Napoléon III and the Seine préfet, Haussmann, from 1852 to 1870.

The project encompassed all aspects of urban planning, both in the center of Paris and in the outside districts: streets and boulevards, regulations imposed on façades of buildings, public parks, sewers and water works, city facilities and public monuments.

The disease was said to be preventable by cleansing and scouring of the body and items. Dr. William Farr, the assistant commissioner for the 1851 London census, was an important supporter of the miasma theory. He believed that cholera was transmitted by air, and that there was a deadly concentration of "miasmata" near the Thames River banks.

Another proponent of the "miasmatic" theory was the renowned Crimean War nurse, Florence Nightingale (1820-1910), who was known for her work in making hospitals sanitary and fresh-smelling.

—Compiled from information located in Wikepedia.
miasmal (adjective), more miasmal, most miasmal
1. A reference to pollutants in the air from putrescent organic matter.
2. The description of poisonous effluvia or germs polluting the atmosphere; miasma.
3. Referring to dangerous, foreboding, or deathlike influences or atmospheres.
miasmatic (adjective), more miasmatic, most miasmatic
1. A reference to something that causes poisonous fumes or unwholesome smoke into the air: There is one bar in Mike's neighborhood that allows its customers to pollute the place with miasmatic cigarette and cigar smoke without any restrictions.
2. Characterized by an oppressive and unpleasant atmosphere: Historians know about some territories from the past and their long and miasmatic histories.
3. Etymology: from French miasme; from Greek miasma, "defilement, pollution"; which came from miamein, "to pollute".
miasmatical (adjective), more miasmatical, most miasmatical
1. Containing, pertaining to, or relating to harmful vapors: The miasmatical region near where Jim lives gives off noxious effluvia or a foul-smelling outflow of vapors; especially, a gaseous waste.
2. Diseases caused by unhealthy fumes: It is believed that the Romans were the first to invent a sewage system, thereby diverting miasmatical effluvia into and through the drains and out of the cities.
miasmatically (adverb), more miasmatically, most miasmatically
1. That which is noxious or just obnoxious fumes or vapor, often associated with putrid swamps or decaying matter, once thought to cause diseases: "In the past, the miasmatically putrid swamps were believed to be the sources of a disease that we now call malaria but which actually means "bad air".
2. A descriptive term for something that is unpleasant, a depressive mood, or an atmosphere resulting from some kind of negative situation.
miasmatism (s) (noun), miasmatisms (pl)
A term used to indicate that cholera and other diseases were contracted by breathing air contaminated by disease-containing "clouds".

The claim that foul-smelling emanations spread disease was quintessential miasmatism.

—Based on information from
The Great Stink of Paris and the Nineteenth-Century Struggle against Filth and Germs
by David S. Barnes; The Johns Hopkins University Press; Baltimore Maryland; 2006, page 44.
miasmatist (s) (noun), miasmatists (pl)
1. Someone who has made a special study of diseases arising from miasmata or miasmas.
2. Those who are versed in the phenomena and nature of noxious exhalations.
miasmic (adjective), more miasmic, most miasmic
Pertaining to poisonous vapors or mists that were once widely believed to be made up of particles from decomposing material which could cause diseases and be identified by their foul odors: There have been many kinds of miasmic conditions throughout history that are considered to be the sources of plagues and other widespread contagious ailments.
Pertaining to poisonous fumes or vapors that cause a stench.
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miasmology (s) (noun), miasmologies (pl)
1. The studies of unwholesome or noxious atmospheres, effluvia, or emanations.
2. The study of or research about fogs and smogs; especially, those affecting air pollution levels.

Links to related miasmatic words Article about Miasmas to Microbes.