Etymology
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Atlantic (adj.)

early 15c., Atlantyke, "of or pertaining to the sea off the west coast of Africa," from Latin Atlanticus, from Greek Atlantikos "of Atlas," adjectival form of Atlas (genitive Atlantos) as used in reference to Mount Atlas in Mauritania (see Atlas). The name has been extended since c. 1600 to the ocean between Europe and Africa, on one side, and the Americas on the other. As a noun late 14c., Athlant, from Old French Atlante.

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Atlantis 

mythical island-nation, by 1730, from Greek Atlantis, literally "daughter of Atlas," noun use of fem. adjective from Atlas (stem Atlant-; see Atlas). All references trace to Plato's dialogues "Timaeus" and "Critias," both written c. 360 B.C.E.

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Atlas 

1580s, in Greek mythology a member of the older family of Gods, later regarded as a Titan, son of Iapetus and Clymene; in either case supposed to uphold the pillars of heaven (or earth), which according to one version was his punishment for being war-leader of the Titans in their battle with the Olympian gods. "Originally the name of an Arcadian mountain god; the name was transferred to the mountain chain in Western Africa" [Beekes].

The Greek name traditionally is interpreted as "The Bearer (of the Heavens)," from a-, copulative prefix (see a- (3)), + stem of tlenai "to bear" (from PIE root *tele- "to lift, support, weigh"). But Beekes compares Berber adrar "mountain" and finds it plausible that the Greek name is a "folk-etymological reshaping" of this. Mount Atlas, in Mauritania, was important in Greek cosmology as a support of the heavens.

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atlas (n.)

"collection of maps in a volume," 1636, first in the title of the English translation of "Atlas, sive cosmographicae meditationes de fabrica mundi" (1585) by Flemish geographer Gerhardus Mercator, who might have been the first to use this word in this way. A picture of the titan Atlas holding up the world appears on the frontispiece of this and other early map collections.

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atlatl (n.)

throwing-stick used by some indigenous American peoples, 1871, from Nahuatl (Aztecan) atlatl "spear-thrower."

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ATM (n.)

1976, acronym for automated teller machine (1974), which was developed in modern form c. 1968. See teller.

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atman (n.)

in Hindu philosophy, the self or soul, 1785, from Sanskrit atma "essence, breath, soul," from PIE *etmen "breath" (a root found in Sanskrit and Germanic; source also of Old English æðm, Dutch adem, Old High German atum "breath," Old English eþian, Dutch ademen "to breathe").

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atmo- 

word-forming element meaning "vapor," from Greek atmos "vapor, steam," which is of uncertain origin. Watkins has it from PIE *awet-mo-, from root *wet- (1) "to blow" (also "to inspire, spiritually arouse;" see wood (adj.)). Beekes says it is not considered to be related to the source of atman.

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atmosphere (n.)

1630s, atmosphaera (modern form from 1670s), "gaseous envelop surrounding the earth," from Modern Latin atmosphaera, from Greek atmos "vapor, steam" (see atmo-) + sphaira "sphere" (see sphere). In old science, "vaporous air," which was considered a part of the earth and a contamination of the lower part of the air (n.1).

Þe ouer partye of þe eyr is pure and clene, clere, esy & softe, ffor mevynge of stormys, of wynde and of wedir may nat reche þerto; and so it perteyneþ to heuenlych kynde. And þe neþir partye is nyʒe to þe spere of watir and of erþe, and is troubly, greet and þicke, corpulent and ful of moyst erþy vapoures, as longiþ to erþy partyes. Þe eyr strecchiþ hym kyndely al aboute fro þe ouer partye of þe erþe and of watir anon to þe spere of fire. [Bartholomew Glanville, "De proprietatibus rerum," c. 1240, translated by John of Trevisa c. 1398 ]

First used in English in connection with the Moon, which, as it turns out, practically has none.

'Tis Observed, in the Solary Eclipses, that there is some times a great Trepidation about the Body of the Moon, from which we may likewise argue an Atmo-sphaera, since we cannot well conceive what so probable a cause there should be of such an appearance as this, Quod radii Solares a vaporibus Lunam ambientibus fuerint intercisi, that the Sun-beams were broken and refracted by the Vapours that encompassed the Moon. [Rev. John Wilkins, "Discovery of New World or Discourse tending to prove that it probable there may be another World in the Moon," 1638]

The figurative sense of "surrounding influence, mental or moral environment" is by c. 1800.

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atmospheric (adj.)

1777, "pertaining to or existing in the atmosphere," from atmosphere + -ic. In a sense of "creating a mood or mental environment" it is from 1908. Atmospherics "disturbances in wireless communication" is from 1905.

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